2010

Authors

  • Jessica L. Kane Jessica L. Kane
  • Melissa Hyde Melissa Hyde
  • Kyra Hamilton Kyra Hamilton

Binge eating (BE) among female university students is rising in prevalence and few studies have considered the role of social cognitive processes in decisions to engage in BE. This study adopted a theory of planned behavior (TPB) belief-based approach to examine the beliefs that underpin female university students' intentions to BE. Participants (N 젲50) completed self-report questionires assessing BE intentions and the TPB behavioral (advantages and disadvantages of BE), normative (important others approving/disapproving of BE), and control (barriers toward and motivators for BE) belief measures. For alyses, participants were grouped based on a median split of the overall intention score into those with higher and lower intentions to binge eat. Differences in the TPB beliefs about BE between these two groups were then assessed. Female students with higher intentions to binge eat differed significantly in their endorsement of the likely beliefs related to BE, compared to female students with lower intentions to binge eat. The results suggest that interventions to decrease BE in the female student population should reduce the associated advantages (e.g., stress relief and feelings of comfort), enhance perceptions of disapproval for BE from important others (e.g., partner and friends), provide education about the health implications to strengthen the perceived barriers discouraging BE, and suggest healthy altertives to overcome the factors (e.g., being alone and boredom) motivating BE.