Date of Award

Summer 8-10-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Eric R. Dahlen

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Michael B. Madson

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Emily Bullock Yowell

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Dr. Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

Binge eating has received increased attention in the psychological literature, as the health consequences are becoming increasingly well known. The prevalence of subclinical binge eating (i.e., binge eating that is not associated with a diagnosable eating disorder) is elevated among college women, some of whom will go on to develop more serious problems. Thus, improved understanding of subclinical binge eating in this population can help to inform prevention and intervention strategies.

In a sample of 472 college women this study evaluated the relationships among four theoretically relevant factors hypothesized to predict binge eating: trait anger, anger suppression, impulsivity, and emotion regulation. After confirming the factor structure of the UPPS Impulsivity Scale through confirmatory factor analysis, we found that the UPPS factors of urgency and lack of perseverance predicted binge eating. In addition, trait anger predicted binge eating above and beyond general negative affect. Anger suppression also predicted binge eating, and we found that both anger suppression and emotion regulation partially mediated the relationship between trait anger and binge eating. The implications of these findings for assisting college women with binge eating are addressed.

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