DOI: 10.1177/00207640231218686 ISSN: 0020-7640

Body image as a mediator in the relationship between psychotic experiences and later disordered eating: A 12-month longitudinal study in high school adolescents

Feten Fekih-Romdhane, Lilia Houissa, Majda Cheour, Souheil Hallit, Alexandre Andrade Loch
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


The relationship between psychosis and disordered eating remains a challenging area of research to which little interest was paid. Using longitudinal data, we aimed to explore the hypothesis that the pathways from psychotic experiences (PEs) to disordered eating (DE) and body-mass index (BMI) are mediated by body-image disturbances.


A prospective longitudinal study was performed. High-school students ( N = 510, 61.2% females, mean age of 16.05 ± 1.01 years) were asked to complete three scheduled assessments (Baseline, 6 months, and 12 months).


Two body image components, that is, Overweight Preoccupation and Body Area Satisfaction, mediated the prospective association between baseline PEs and DE 12 months later. Direct effects were significant. After accounting for indirect effects through more severe body image concerns at 6 months, higher baseline PEs were significantly associated with greater DE at 12 months. Baseline PEs and 6-month body image explained a significant proportion of variance in 12-month DE. However, we did not find evidence of a direct prospective association between PEs and BMI.


This study is the first to assess the mediating role of body image between PEs and DE. Findings offer promising new avenues for early intervention to help mitigate the effects of PEs on DE in adolescents.

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