Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

Psychology

Language

English (en)

Date of Award

1-1-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Denise Wilfley

Abstract

Abstract: Objective: Previous data suggests that ethnic identity: i.e., belonging, affirmation, and commitment to an ethnic group; EI) is associated with eating disorder: ED) symptoms in ethnic minority women. The current study examined whether level of EI affects the association between perfectionism and ED symptoms in a multi-ethnic sample. Methods: 375 women ages 18-25 at high-risk for ED onset: 55.1% Caucasian, 18.7% Asian/Asian-American, 9.6% black/African-American, 9.9% Latina) were recruited as part of a randomized-controlled trial of an Internet-based ED prevention program, and completed questionnaires prior to randomization. EI was measured by the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure; perfectionism by the Eating Disorders Inventory: EDI) perfectionism subscale; and ED symptoms by the EDI drive for thinness subscale: EDI-dt) and the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire: EDE-Q). Hierarchical regression analyses were performed for each ED symptom variable. Results: Analyses revealed a significant three-way interaction among Latina ethnicity, level of EI, and perfectionism to predict EDI-dt: p<0.05). Among Latinas, EI attenuated the relationship between perfectionism and EDI-dt, while for Asian/Asian-American women EI enhanced this relationship. Additionally, a main effect inverse relationship was found between EI and EDE-Q scores in Caucasian women: p<0.05). Conclusions: Results suggest that EI is relevant to understanding the association between ED symptoms and perfectionism in women from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Assessing EI in a clinical setting may enable the development of personalized prevention and treatment approaches. Future work should continue to explore the role of cultural variables in the onset and maintenance of EDs.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.7936/K7057D2G

Comments

Permanent URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.7936/K7057D2G

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