Title page for ETD etd-3498-173040

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Russ, Christine Runyan II
Author's Email Address bandtruss@mindspring.com
URN etd-3498-173040
Title Towards an Explanation of Overeating Patterns Among Normal Weight College Women: Development and Validation of a Structural Equation Model
Degree PhD
Department Clinical Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Anderson, Eileen S.
Clum, George A. Jr.
Eisler, Richard M.
Esen, Asim
Sturgis, Ellie T.
Winett, Richard A. Committee Chair
  • Eating Patterns
  • Binge Eating
  • Structural Equation Model
  • College Women
Date of Defense 1998-04-03
Availability unrestricted
Although research describing relationships between

psychosocial factors and various eating patterns is

growing, a model which explains the mechanisms through

which these factors may operate is lacking. A model to

explain overeating patterns among normal weight college

females was developed and tested. The model contained the

following variables: global adjustment, eating and weight

cognitions, emotional eating, and self-efficacy.

Three hundred ninety-one participants completed the

following self-report indices: the Questionnaire on

Eating and Weight Patterns-Revised, the Student

Adaptation College Questionnaire, the Weight Efficacy

Life-Style Questionnaire, the Center for Epidemiological

Studies on Depression, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory,

the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, the Emotional

Eating Scale, the COPE, the Dutch Eating Behaviors

Questionnaire - Restraint Scale, and a self-reported

frequency of current eating patterns. Forty participants

were excluded based on responses suggestive of obesity

(BMI>27.3), severe dietary restraint, or bulimia nervosa,

resulting in a final sample of 351. Correlational matrices,

factor analysis and structural equation modeling with

LISREL 8.B were progressively used to develop the best

measurement model and assess the goodness of fit of the

proposed structural model. The model provided an excellent

fit to the data (GFI=.95; AGFI = .92; RMSEA = .048) and

explained as large amount of the observed variance in

overeating patterns among normal weight college females

(R2 = .78). An alternative model, which included dietary

restraint as a predictor variable was also tested and

compared to the proposed structural model. On all indices

of model fit and model parsimony, the proposed model

without dietary restraint appeared superior. Moreover,

dietary restraint was not a significant direct contributor

to the explanation of overeating patterns among normal

weight college females. In the final structural model,

all variables had a significant direct effect on eating

patterns (p < .01). Further examination revealed a large

total effect of adjustment as well as a strong direct

influence of emotional eating on overeating patterns

(direct effect =.52, p <.001). Because emotional eating

captures the extent to which negative emotions produce an

urge to eat, treatment and prevention programs should

specifically target acquisition and practice of alternative

coping strategies for dealing with negative emotions.

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