Association between childhood physical and emotional abuse and disordered eating behaviors in female undergraduates: An investigation of the mediating role of alexithymia and depression

Suzanne E. Mazzeo, Dorothy L. Espelage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although disordered eating behaviors are relatively common among college women, many questions about their etiology remain. In the present study, structural equation modeling was used to investigate potential mediating associations among variables previously found to be associated with the continuum of disordered eating behaviors in a large sample of college women. Results indicated that family conflict, family cohesion, and childhood physical and emotional abuse and neglect were not directly associated with disordered eating. Rather, their association with disordered eating was mediated by alexithymia and depression. These results were cross-validated in a second sample of college women. These data highlight the complexity of disordered eating and provide future directions for the prevention and treatment of the continuum of disordered eating behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-100
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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