Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Amy Brausch (Director), Andrew Mienaltowski, Jenni Teeters
Department of Psychological Sciences
Master of Science
Eating disorders have one of the highest mortality rates among all mental health conditions in terms of suicide rate and overall mortality rate, with college students reporting higher rates than the general population (Arcelus et al., 2011; Badrasawi & Zidan, 2019; Eisenberg et al., 2013; Perryman et al., 2018). The current literature has shown a relationship between binge-eating and bulimia symptoms and socioeconomic status, food literacy, and food security (Becker et al., 2017; Darling et al., 2017; Ferreira et al., 2021; Knesebeck et al., 2012; Rogers et al., 1997). The goal of the current study was to examine how perceived socioeconomic status, food literacy, and food security associate with binge-eating and bulimia symptoms in a sample of 217 college students. The current study found that lower perceived socioeconomic status and food literacy were associated with higher levels of binge-eating symptoms. The results showed that lower perceived socioeconomic status was associated with greater bulimia symptoms. The results also indicated that greater food insecurity was associated with greater binge-eating and bulimia symptoms. Linear regression results indicated that in a model of perceived socioeconomic status, food literacy, and food insecurity as predictors for binge-eating symptoms, food literacy was the strongest predictor. Lastly, linear regression results indicated that in a model of perceived socioeconomic status, food literacy, and food insecurity as predictors for bulimia symptoms, food insecurity was the strongest predictor. These findings indicate that food literacy may associate more with binge-eating and bulimia symptoms than was previously believed. These results add to the currently minimal information about this relationship and indicate that those who are more food literate may have better abilities to stave off disordered eating patterns. These findings also suggest that individuals who have had food insecurity within the past year may be at a higher risk of developing disordered eating patterns relating to bingeing and purging.
Clinical Psychology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Rigney, Kendra, "Running Head: SES, Food Literacy and Security, and Eating Disorders" (2022). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 3560.
Available for download on Saturday, May 03, 2025