Eating disorder behaviors, strength of faith, and values in late adolescents and emerging adults: an exploration of associations

King, Stephanie L., author
Timpson, William, advisor
Le, Thao, advisor
Gloeckner, Gene, committee member
Bundy-Fazioli, Kim, committee member
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Adolescents entering college are often affected by eating disorders and during this transition to emerging adulthood, individuals begin to establish personal values and beliefs, which makes this population interesting when studying Eating Disorders, values, and faith. This research project seeks to examine the association among strength of religious faith, explicit and implicit value endorsements (openness, conservation, power, and benevolence), and eating disorder behaviors in adolescents and emerging adults. By exploring these factors, research may identify risk or protective factors relating to eating disorder behaviors, values, and faith. The 99 participants (76 female) were enrolled in PSY100 at Colorado State University; they completed a survey, which included the Schwartz Values Inventory (SVI) to measure explicit values, the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire (SCSORFQ), and the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26). Implicit Association Tests (IATs) were also administered to measure implicit values. While no significant findings relating to the implicit data were found, a significant, negative correlation between the explicit endorsement of conformity (a sub-value of conservation) and eating disorder behaviors existed. Explicit endorsements of power or self-enhancement, as well as achievement, were positively associated with eating disorder behaviors. A qualitative question elicited participants' reflections on specific teachings and messages about food, body, and eating. Participants identified several sources of teaching and messages about food, body, and eating; these messages fell into four categories: parents, religion, culture, and religion. Overall, participants agreed with the messages presented from these sources, with the exception of media. Participants frequently disagreed with the messages presented by media, but their responses indicated that they continue to conform to the ideals of media.
2012 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.
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eating disorder
emerging adults
strength of faith
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