Eating disorders across the life-span: A Delphi study

Jill D Baker, Tennessee State University


This study sought to have mental health professionals who treat clients with eating disorders reach a consensus on the varied symptom presentation and psychological issues present in women, adolescents, and children with eating disturbances across the life span. Other issues considered were the usefulness of the DSM-IV criteria and the importance of one's developmental stage in defining the eating disorder presentation. A three-round Delphi study was used to gain this information. Results suggest that one's development is hindered or arrested by the disorder, and although some symptoms are fairly consistent over the life-span, there is some variation in symptoms that seem at least partly tied to the particular developmental stage. Results of this research greatly magnify the need for a comprehensive and scientific understanding of eating disorders, how they present at different ages and developmental stages, and the impact these symptoms can have over time on relationships, occupation, school, and family. By having this understanding, clinicians can effectively diagnose and treat, as well as prevent the occurrence of eating disorders.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Jill D Baker, "Eating disorders across the life-span: A Delphi study" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3167770.