• “I think I’ll just go and eat worms”: the effect of bullying on self-esteem,. Body image, and eating disordered behaviour

      Blake, C. E.; Haynes, Caroline Anne; University of Derby (British Psychological Society, 1999)
      The link between low self-esteem and eating disorders; and body image and eating disorders, has been well established. In addition, Button, Sonuga-Barke, Davies and Thompson, (1996) suggested that problems at school may also contribute to the development of eating disorders. In the present study the effects of bully on self-esteem , body image and eating disordered behaviour were investigate in a cohort of fifty eight college students aged between sixteen and twenty. Participants completed questionnaire measures of social and global self-esteem, body image distortion, bullying and prevalence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Analysis revealed a significant effect for bullying on self-esteem and body image when controlling for gender, and on eating disordered behaviour in females but not in males (P<.01). Individuals who were bulletined had significantly lower self-esteem and significantly higher body image distortion and eating disordered scores than individual who were not bullied. The study highlights the importance of bullying as a possible aetiological factor in the developing of eating disordered behaviour.