Abstract

Research on eating disorders has mainly focused on clinical populations and adolescents. In this study, a nonclinical sample comprised of female college students was studied. The relationship between eating disorder symptomatology and the variables of depression and self-esteem were examined using the following measures: (1) The Eating Disorders Inventory-2; (2) The Beck Depression Inventory; and (3) The Multidimensional Self-Esteem Inventory. A total of fifty-six subjects were studied. It was hypothesized that those subjects who scored higher overall on the EDI-2 would exhibit higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem than those who scored lower overall on the EDI-2. It was also hypothesized that those subjects who scored high on specific subscales of the EDI-2 would exhibit higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem than those who scored lower overall on the EDI-2. Primary analyses on these hypotheses revealed significantly higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem in subjects scoring in the upper third versus subjects scoring in the lower third of the EDI-2; all of the hypotheses were supported. Secondary analyses confirmed that these differences were not significantly confounded by demographic variables such as age, year in school or socio-economic status. The results of this study indicate that psychological attributes commonly associated with clinically diagnosed patients also apply to nonclinical female college students who exhibit subclinical characteristics of eating disorders.

Disciplines

Psychology

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Psychology Commons

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