Learning experiences in dance class predict adult eating disturbance

Agnes Annus, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Elite dancers are at increased risk of eating disorders. The authors hypothesized that specific learning about thinness in dance class, rather than simple participation in dance training, tends to be an important aspect of the risk process. Approximately 500 college women reported on their previous dance experiences, their dance-related learning about thinness, their eating behaviours and attitudes and their thinness expectancies. Results showed that lifetime amount of time spent in dance class was unrelated to adult eating disturbance, women's reports of learning experiences concerning thinness during their dance classes predicted adult disordered eating concurrently, and thinness expectancies appeared to mediate the relationship between learning about thinness and adult eating disturbance. Learning experiences about thinness in dance class seem more important than time spent in dance class when examining the relationship between dance study and eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Dance
  • Eating disorders
  • Expectancies
  • Learning
  • Sociocultural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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