The moderating role of resilience on the relationship between perceived stress and binge eating symptoms among young adult women
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OBJECTIVE: Adolescence and young adulthood are developmental periods during the life course that are sometimes associated with heightened stress and engagement in binge eating. Binge eating has been linked to psychiatric comorbidity, poorer physical health, and lower quality of life. However, less is known about protective factors that could buffer against binge eating behaviors. The current study examined the moderating role of resilience on the relationship between perceived stress and binge eating symptoms among emerging adult female college students. METHOD: Participants were 297 young adult women aged 18-25 years (Mage = 19.22, SD = 1.51; 52% self-identifying as a racial/ethnic minority) with Body Mass Index ranging from 15 to 66 (MBMI = 25.01, SD = 6.18). Women completed this cross-sectional study while they were attending universities in the Western or Southern United States. Participants provided demographic and height/weight information, and completed the following measures: Perceived Stress Scale, Binge Eating Scale, and Brief Resilience Scale. RESULTS: Higher perceived stress was significantly associated with more severe binge eating symptoms (b = 0.31; p < .01). In addition, higher resilience was associated with lower binge eating pathology (b = -0.20; p < .01). Moderation was supported as the relationship between perceived stress and binge eating symptoms varied by resilience level (b = -0.16; p < .01). CONCLUSIONS: Women who perceived higher stress were more likely to engage in binge eating relative to women experiencing low stress; however, resilience attenuated this association. Resilience could be targeted to reduce the negative effects of perceived stress on eating behaviors in young women.
author list (cited authors)
Thurston, I. B., Hardin, R., Kamody, R. C., Herbozo, S., & Kaufman, C.