Objective: The eating disorder literature has sought to understand the role of comorbid psychiatric diagnoses and coping in relation to eating disorders. The present research extends these findings by studying the relationships among depression, coping, and the entire continuum of disordered eating behaviors, with an emphasis on subthreshold eating disorders. Method: 109 undergraduate females completed questionnaires to assess disordered eating symptoms, depressive symptoms, and the use of active and avoidant coping mechanisms. Hypotheses were tested using bivariate linear regression and multivariate linear regression. Results: Results indicated that depression was a significant predictor of disordered eating symptoms after controlling for relationships between depression and coping. Although avoidant coping was positively associated with disordered eating, it was not a significant predictor after controlling for depression and coping. Discussion: Previous research has found associations between depression and diagnosable eating disorders, and this research extends those findings to the entire continuum of disordered eating. Future research should continue to investigate the predictors and correlates of the disordered eating continuum using more diverse samples. Testing for mediation and moderation among these variables may also be a fruitful area of investigation.
- Eating disorders