Gender differences in the relationship between impulsivity and disordered eating behaviors and attitudes

Alyssa Lundahl, Laura C. Wahlstrom, Christa C. Christ, Scott F. Stoltenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We investigated relationships among gender, impulsivity and disordered eating in healthy college students. Method: Participants (. N=. 1223) were healthy, undergraduate men (28.5%) and women (71.5%), who completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale - Version 11 (BIS-11) and a four-factor version of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-16). Results: As predicted, mean scores on all four EAT-16 factors were significantly higher for women than for men. Attentional impulsivity was related to poorer self-perception of body shape, more dieting, and a greater preoccupation with food for the sample as a whole. Moreover, motor impulsivity was related to poorer self-perceptions of body shape and a greater preoccupation with food. However, no gender differences emerged in the relationship between impulsivity and disordered eating attitudes. Discussion: This study elucidates the role of impulsivity in disordered eating behaviors among non-clinical college students. For both women and men, attentional and motor impulsivity were related to disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. Overall, these findings suggest that different facets of impulsivity are related to disordered eating attitudes and behaviors in a non-clinical college population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-124
Number of pages5
JournalEating Behaviors
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Keywords

  • Disordered eating
  • Gender differences
  • Impulsiveness
  • Non-clinical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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