Tests of Escape Theory of Binge Eating Among Latinas

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Abstract

Objectives: Despite comparable prevalence of some eating disorders (e.g., binge eating disorder) among Latinas compared with Caucasians, eating disorders are still thought of as primarily afflicting Caucasian women. This has led to a lag in research on eating disorders among Latinas. Our objective was to test 3 escape theory models involving the culturally specific independent variables of acculturative stress, family disconnection, and discriminatory stress; the mediator of negative affect; and the dependent variable of binge eating frequency. Method: We recruited a female sample of 119 Latinas (78 who have suffered from an eating disorder, 41 who have never had an eating disorder). Results: Results indicated that all of the relationships between culturally specific factors and binge eating were mediated by negative affect, and that there was a significant direct pathway from discriminatory stress to binge eating. Conclusions: Findings from this study can be used to tailor interventions to Latinas who engage in binge eating, targeting culturally specific factors and their relationships with negative affect and binge eating.

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