Date of Award

Winter 12-18-2018

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type

Thesis

Abstract

The inclusion of racial and ethnic minority individuals in research is imperative in furthering generalizable and comprehensive research on eating disorder (ED) populations and improving the disparities for minorities with EDs. The current study investigates such disparities by 1) assessing the presentation of EDs and comorbidities across racial and ethnic groups, as well as 2) assessing whether minority individuals are less likely to participate in a research study, or utilize the offered interventions versus their majority counterparts in the Healthy Body Image Program (HBI), a study of an online, guided self-help, ED intervention vs. referral to in-person care among college women with clinical or sub-clinical EDs. Study 1 compared ED symptomology, ED-related clinical impairment, and comorbid psychopathologies across racial and ethnic groups within the HBI sample. Study 1 also compared rates of engagement in research, engagement in the online program, and engagement with referral to in-person care between minority and non-minority participants. Results found mostly comparable rates of ED symptomology, ED-related clinical impairment, and comorbid psychopathologies across racial and ethnic groups, with notable differences observed in Asian women endorsing more binge eating than White women, and the Other racial group endorsing more laxative use than the White and Asian racial groups. Additionally, Hispanics reported more laxative use and higher levels of insomnia than non-Hispanics. Study 1 also found comparable rates of engagement in research, online program, and referral to in-person care between minority and non-minority groups. Study 2 followed-up with the minority participants who were unengaged in research, the online program, and referral to in-person care, and investigated their barriers to participation. Results from the Study 2 provided useful information on specific obstacles to address in future efforts to decrease disparities in treatment utilization by minorities with EDs.

Language

English (en)

Chair and Committee

Dr. Denise E. Wilfley

Committee Members

Dr. Renee Thompson Dr. Brian Carpenter

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