Eating disorder symptomatology, clinical impairment, and comorbid psychopathology in racially and ethnically diverse college women with eating disorders

Grace E. Monterubio, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, Katherine N. Balantekin, Shiri Sadeh-Sharvit, Neha J. Goel, Olivia Laing, Marie Laure Firebaugh, Rachael E. Flatt, Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, C. Barr Taylor, Denise E. Wilfley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine eating disorder (ED) symptomatology, related clinical impairment, and comorbid psychopathology in college women with EDs across five racial and two ethnic groups. Method: Participants were 690 women from 28 US universities who screened positive for an ED. Thirteen variables assessing ED symptoms, related clinical impairment, and comorbid psychopathology were compared across racial and ethnic groups using analyses of variance (ANOVAs) and independent samples t-tests. Results: Across racial groups, significant differences emerged in binge eating and laxative use. Asian women reported significantly more binge eating than White women (p <.01). Individuals self-identified as the “Other” racial group reported greater laxative use than Asian and White women (ps ≤.01). No other significant differences emerged across all other variables (ps ≥.13). Across ethnic groups, Hispanic women reported significantly more laxative use (p <.01), and more comorbid insomnia symptoms (p =.03) than non-Hispanic women. No other significant differences were observed (ps ≥.24). Discussion: Findings suggest that binge eating, laxative use, and insomnia symptoms differ across racial and ethnic groups in US college women who screened positive for EDs. Findings can inform tailoring of ED screening to reduce current disparities in these underrepresented populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1868-1874
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume53
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • clinical impairment
  • comorbidities
  • eating disorders
  • ethnicity
  • insomnia
  • race

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