Eating Disorders and Depression in Adolescents: The Impact of Socioeconomic Factors, Family and Peer Relations


  • Goran Livazovic Department for Pedagogy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of J. J. Strossmayer in Osijek
  • Iva Mudrinic Department for Pedagogy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of J. J. Strossmayer in Osijek



Eating disorders, adolescents, family, school, peers, depression, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, orthorexia.


This paper analyses the relation between socioeconomic characteristics, family and peer relations, depression and eating disorders with 218 (144 female, 66.1%) participants aged 14-19 from Croatia. The questionnaire encompassed questions on socioeconomic traits, family and peer relations, depression and anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and orthorexia. Girls reported most dissatisfaction with the abdominal region (38.5%), thighs (31.2%) and breasts (16.1%). Boys reported most dissatisfaction with the abdomen (12.4%), chest (10.1%) and legs/calves (7.3%). Gender was significant for depression (p<.001), anorexia (p<.01), bulimia (p<.001) and binge eating (p<.05), with girls scoring higher on all scales. Age was significant for depression (p<.05) in younger participants, and orthorexia (p<.05) for older adolescents. Participants from vocational schools reported significantly higher family life satisfaction (p<.01), while gymnasium students reported significantly higher depression (p<.000), bulimia (p<.01) and binge eating behaviour (p<.01). Higher mother’s educational level was significant for anorexia (p<.05) and orthorexia (p<.01). Family relations correlated negatively with bulimia and binge eating, but positively with orthorexia. Peer relations were not significant for eating disorders. Eating disorders show positively correlated comorbidity (p<.000), and were significantly correlated to depression (p<.000). Anorexia is best predicted by bulimia (p<.001), orthorexia (p<.001), depression (p<.01) and mother’s education (p<.01). Bulimia is strongly predicted by anorexia (p<.001), binge eating (p<.001), depression (p<.001) and gender (p<.001). Binge eating is strongly predicted by bulimia (p<.001), depression (p<.01) and school type (p<.05). Orthorexia is strongly predicted by anorexia (p<.001), family relations quality (p<.05), the mother’s education (p<.05) and school success (p<.05).


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