Eating disorders are among the most relevant disorders in adolescence, being often chronic and associated to medical and psychiatric comorbidities. Evidence based treatment suggested in eating disorders are: the Family-Based Treatment, indicated as gold standard for Anorexia Nervosa, Adolescent-Focused Therapy and CBT-E that include within the treatment protocol the work on psychological aspects interfering with the treatment as perfectionism, low self-esteem and interpersonal problems. Aims of the present paper are: to review scientific progress on diagnostic criteria, etiology, assessment and evidence-based treatment of eating disorders in adolescence and to provide data regarding dysfunctional eating behaviors and related psychological functioning in a sample of adolescents aged 14-19 recruited in Rome.Results of the study show that 4% (6.4% female; 1% male) of the adolescents reported scores in the relevant clinical range suggesting high probability that an eating disorder is present. High scores of eating disorder symptoms were negatively associated to self-esteem; positively related to personal and interpersonal problems, emotional dysregulation, perception of inadequacy, and psychological distress. Only in female, high symptomatology were positively associated with perfectionism and hyper-control. It is important, therefore, that clinicians working with this spectrum of disorders in adolescence conduct an adequate evaluation and propose treatments evidence-based taking also into account the psychological functioning associated with the disorder.
Keywords: Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, adolescence, evidence- based treatment.