Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Thomas, Cheryl (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Although it is well established that neuroticism is associated with many psychiatric disorders, including eating disorders, little is known about the mechanism through which they are related. The purpose of this two-stage study was to test three models to determine if stress and coping might help explain this relationship. In the first stage, female undergraduates (119), an at-risk population for eating disorders, completed the NEO PI-R, the EDI-3, the YA-FILES, and the CISS. In the second stage of the study, participants completed daily records of perceived stress, chosen coping strategies, and change in daily eating habits for a period of two weeks. Previous relationships between neuroticism, eating disorder risk, and coping styles were supported. Neither stress, nor coping style explained the relationship between neuroticism and eating disorder risk, although neuroticism partially mediated the relationship between retrospective recall of stress and eating disorder risk. Possible explanations are discussed.

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