Similar and disparate predictors of eating disorders

Date of Completion

January 2006


Psychology, Clinical




Disordered eating patterns arise from a combination of biological, familial, interpersonal, cultural and cognitive-behavioral influences. While researchers generally agree that eating disorders are multiply determined, the relationships between the various factors, as well as the salience of their influence, have not been fully understood. The current study tested a pathway model for the development of eating disordered behaviors using data collected from a sample of female undergraduate students. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires at three time points across an eight week period. Questionnaires inquired about romantic attachment style, self-esteem, expectancies about mood regulation, affect regulation, stress, discrepancy between perceived and idealized body image, maternal and peer weight/appearance concerns, and weight concerns. In addition, eating disordered behaviors were measured with self-reports for both anorexic and bulimic behaviors. Results indicated that eating disordered behaviors are associated with a host of diverse predictors. The integrated path models were supported and suggested differences between the etiology and maintenance of the two types of disorders. ^