Objective: Disordered eating behaviors among undergraduate women are common and, thus, are an important public health concern. Weight stigmatization, stress, and social withdrawal are often associated with disordered eating behaviors; however, it is unclear whether stress and social withdrawal act as mediators between weight stigmatization and disordered eating. By testing specific pathways to disordered eating, theory-driven prevention programs can be implemented. Methods: Self-reported surveys were administered to 217 undergraduate women during the Fall 2014 semester. Results: There were 2 distinct mediational pathways in response to weight stigmatization. Stress partially mediated the path between weight stigmatization and emotional eating (38%), whereas social withdrawal partially mediated the path between weight stigmatization and dietary restraint (44%). Conclusions: Stress and social withdrawal mediate the relationship between weight stigmatization and disordered eating. The results of this study identified potentially critical risk factors that, if addressed, may improve outcomes of campus-based disordered eating programs for women.
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis.
- Disordered eating
- weight stigma