An Investigation of Eating Disorders among Gifted Adolescents

Sally R. Beisser, Catherine W. Gillespie


Gifted students may experience greater risk of disordered eating, especially during adolescence, which is already a high-risk time for the development of eating disorders. In particular, the novel Covid-19 global pandemic exacerbates stress that may influence adolescents with disordered eating. This study investigated eating disorders of 33 identified gifted adolescents (77% female) in one Midwest state with an online survey using a well-validated instrument, the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q), that contains subscales of eating restraint, eating concern, shape concern, and weight concern. Narrative responses were included in the data. Results indicated 20% of the gifted adolescents in this study revealed concerning responses about their weight, shape, and dietary restrictions. Voluntary comments revealed apprehension, concerns, and distress among some respondents. Recommendations are provided for teachers, parents, as well as for students themselves.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Sally R. Beisser, Catherine W. Gillespie

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