Prevalence & Correlates of Eating Disordered Behaviors Among

Prevalence & Correlates of Eating Disordered Behaviors Among

Prevalence & Correlates of Eating
Disordered Behaviors Among Students at
the University of WI-Eau Claire
Sarah Hammon, Catherine Filtz, Kaci Kufalk, Amanda Meyer, Mallory Nitsch,
Meghan Fisher,
P.J. Kennedy, Allen Keniston,
Result and David Jewett
The prevalence rate for EDs on the
Eating disorders (EDs) are a concern
UWEC campus is consistent with
among college counselors. Prevalence
rates of diagnosed
EDs on college
of 1-3% (Franko et al., 2005).
campuses range between 1-3% (Franko
et al., 2005). Locating and treating this
group as early as possible is key to
treatment (Hoyt & Ross, 2003). But little
is known about correlates of eating
disorders that might aid their
identification and treatment (Hoyt &
Ross, 2003).
Some characteristics do correlate with
EDs. For example, depression correlates
positively with EDs and eating disordered
behavior (Levey & Dixon, 1985). Body
shape satisfaction correlates positively
with EDs and eating disordered behavior
(Cooper, Taylor, Cooper, & Fairburn,
1987). Women are less satisfied with
their body shape and consider
themselves more overweight than men
(Rolls, Fedoroff, & Guthrie, 1991).
We sought to determine whether
depression, self-esteem, and body shape
satisfaction measures as well as standard
demographic descriptors correlated with
a diagnosed ED and a measure of eating
disordered behavior among college
students at UWEC. Our goal was to
1)A measure of eating disordered
assess and target possible preventative
behavior will correlate with measures of
or therapeutic interventions.
depression, self-esteem, and body
shape satisfaction.
2)Individuals with a diagnosed ED (past
or present) will score higher on a
measure of disordered eating.
3)Women will score significantly higher
on a measure of disordered eating than




Participants were 102 males and 276
(M = 20.65 years, SD = 3.23 years) who
volunteered from a random sample of
2,000 undergraduate students.

Materials and Procedure
A web-based survey program was
used to collect data. Included were a
consent form, Rosenthals Self-Esteem
Scale, the Zung Depression Scale, the
Body Shape Questionnaire, the EDE-Q4,
questions about demographics, and a
debriefing form that offered evidence of
The EDE-Q4 consists of questions
about disordered eating behavior, such
as On how many days out of the past 28
days have you been deliberately trying
to limit the amount of food you eat to
influence your shape or weight? The
seven-point scale ranges from No Days
to Everyday.
Participants reported their sex, age,
height, weight, major, cumulative GPA.,
and number of class absences during the
Fall semester of 2008.

Current ED
Past ED


EDE-Q4 Score Body Shape
1.15 (1.29)
2.35 (1.08)
0.85 (0.98)
1.62 (0.68)
1.67 (1.32)
2.62 (1.07)
2.90 (1.66)
3.13 (1.21)
3.02 (1.12)
3.64 (1.31)
1.44 (1.28)
2.31 (1.05)

Self Esteem
8.11 (2.13)
8.33 (2.14)
8.03 (2.12)
6.67 (4.16)
7.30 (2.21)
8.15 (2.10)

62.58 (7.48)
62.82 (6.62)
62.49 (7.79)
61.67 (12.06)
58.30 (9.99)
62.71 (7.36)

20.65 (3.23)
20.89 (2.33)
20.55 (3.50)
22.33 (3.51)
21.30 (3.95)
20.61 (3.21)

3.32 (0.44)
3.17 (0.49)
3.37 (0.41)
3.60 (0.40)
3.41 (0.37)
3.31 (0.44)

24.14 (4.34)
24.28 (3.85)
24.09 (4.52)
22.26 (1.63)
24.40 (4.48)
24.15 (4.36)

BMI Categories
Underweight = <18.5 Normal weight = 18.5-24.9 Overweight = 25-29.9 Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater Correlations Among Measures EDE-Q4 EDE-Q4 Body Shape Body Depression Self BMI Shape Esteem GPA ---.91** .91** ---- -.38** -.38** -.33** .34** -.34** .34** .01 .08 Depression -.38** Self -.33** Esteem -.38** -.34** ---.64** .64** ---- -.09 -.09 .02 .05 .34** .08 -.09 .02 -.09 .05 ----.15* -.15* ---- BMI GPA .34** .01 Regression Table Body Shape Standardized Beta R .92 .85 F Hypothesis 1 Body shape positively correlates with the EDE-Q4 r (378) = .91, p < .001. Depression negatively correlates with the EDE-Q4 r (355) = -.38, p < .001. Self-esteem negatively correlates with the EDE-Q4 r (378) = -.33, p < .001. Hypothesis 2 Individuals who have a present or past diagnosed ED (M = 2.99, SD = 1.19) scored significantly higher on the EDE-Q4 than those without a diagnosis (M = 1.44, SD = 1.28), t (376) = -4.51, p < .001. Hypothesis 3 Women scored significantly higher on measures of disordered eating behavior (M = 1.67, SD = 1.32) than men (M = 0.85, SD = 0.98), t(243) = 6.59, p < .001. This is consistent with past research finding women are under more pressure to remain thin than men (Rolls, Fedoroff, & Guthrie, 1991). BMI Findings A medium-large correlation between BMI and both EDE-Q4 and Body Shape scores occurred at the p < .001 level. As BMI scores rise so do scores of disordered eating and dissatisfaction with ones body Limitations *= p < .01 **= p < .001 df 1957.34 1, 353 EDE-Q4 Score = 1.08 (BS) - .707 A small change in Body Shape Satisfaction Score (BS) will have an influence on EDE-Q4 score, whereas a small change on the Zung Depression Inventory (ZD) or Self Esteem Measure (SE) will have virtually no influence on EDE-Q4. Due to the length of the survey and the personal content of the measures, completion rates were low. Also, there was little variability in the population as a whole. Conclusion EDs remain a concern for college counselors. The current study was used to identify the prevalence and the correlates of EDs on the UWEC campus. Three percent of our sample reported a past or present diagnosis, but only .003% of the student population has utilized counseling services EDs in Clinical the Hoyt, W. D., & Ross, S.for D. (2003). past. By knowing the prevalence and subclinical eating disorders in counseling centerofclients: A the prevalence and correlates EDs on UWEC study. Journal of College Students campus, counseling services will be Psychotherapy, 17, 39-53. able to efficiently assist the at-risk population through preventative Rolls, B. J., Fedoroff, I. C., & Guthrie, J. F. and therapeutic interventions. (1991). Gender differences in eating References behavior and body weight regulation. Health Psychology, 10, 133-142. Acknowledgme We thank the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at UWEC for nts their support along with Counseling Services.

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