Effects of stress and coping on binge eating in female college students

Michael L. Sulkowski, Jack Dempsey, Allison G. Dempsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Limited research exists on the association between stress, coping, and binge eating. To address this paucity, this study explores these associations in a sample of 147 female college students, an at-risk population for binge eating. We hypothesized that emotional and avoidant coping would be positively associated with stress and binge eating. Conversely, we expected that rational and detached coping would be negatively related to stress and binge eating. Furthermore, we expected these coping styles to mediate the relationship between stress and binge eating. As predicted, emotion-focused and avoidant coping were positively associated with stress and binge eating. Additionally, emotion-focused coping partially mediated the relationship between stress and binge eating. However, no association was found between stress, rational or detached coping, and binge eating. These results are discussed within the context of a negative reinforcement model of binge eating. Lastly, the importance of providing evidence-based treatment for individuals with binge eating symptomology is discussed in light of our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-191
Number of pages4
JournalEating Behaviors
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Binge eating
  • College students
  • Coping
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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