Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 904–911 | Cite as

Body Dissatisfaction, Living Away from Parents, and Poor Social Adjustment Predict Binge Eating Symptoms in Young Women Making the Transition to University

  • Erin T. Barker
  • Nancy L. Galambos
Original Paper


The current study explored how body dissatisfaction and challenges associated with the transition to university predicted symptoms of binge eating. Participants were 101 female full-time first-year university students (M=18.3 years of age; SD=.50) who completed a background questionnaire and a web-based daily checklist assessing binge eating. Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling results showed that participants who were more dissatisfied with their bodies were three times as likely to report symptoms of binge eating compared to participants who were less dissatisfied. Participants who lived away from home were three times as likely to report symptoms of binge eating compared to participants living with parents. Finally, poor perceived social adjustment to the university context was associated with an increased likelihood of binge eating. Discussion calls for more research exploring the role that university challenges and adjustment play in predicting eating problems.


Binge eating Body dissatisfaction Transition to university 



This research was supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant to N. Galambos and J. Maggs. Erin Barker was supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship and a University of Alberta Killam Memorial Scholarship. Portions of this research were presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, San Francisco, CA, March, 2006, and constituted part of Erin Barker’s doctoral dissertation. Erin Barker thanks the members of her examination committee, and members of the Making the Transition research team for their assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child and Family Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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