a1 Vanderbilt University
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists weight gain or weight loss as a symptom of depression at all ages, but no study of adolescent depression has examined its relation to actual (not just self-reported) weight change. In the current longitudinal study, 215 adolescents provided physical and self-report measures of change in weight, body mass, and body fat over a 4-month time interval. They also completed psychological measures of body dissatisfaction, problematic eating attitudes, and depressive symptoms. The relation between physical measures of weight change and depressive symptoms varied with age. These relations were explained by individual differences in body dissatisfaction, eating attitudes, and behaviors, leading to questions about weight change as a symptom of depression in adolescence.
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Julia Felton, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Peabody 552, Vanderbilt University, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203; E-mail: email@example.com.