A test of the continuity perspective across bulimic and binge eating pathology

Authors

  • Marian L. Fitzgibbon,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Division of Psychology, Abbott Hall, Rm 1205, 710 North Lake Shore Drive, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60611-3078
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lisa A.P. Sánchez-Johnsen,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Zoran Martinovich

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Objective

This article examines the continuity/discontinuity perspective of eating pathology among 375 women seeking treatment.

Methods

Participants were categorized into five separate groups: obese nonbingers, subthreshold binge eating disorder (BED), BED, subthreshold bulimics, and bulimics. We tested whether differences in core eating pathology (drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, current body image, body image ideal) and psychiatric symptoms (depression, interoceptive awareness) differentiated the groups quantitatively (supporting the continuity perspective) or qualitatively (supporting the discontinuity perspective).

Results

Our results, overall, supported the continuity perspective of eating pathology. A discriminant function analysis using the eating pathology and psychiatric symptom variables as predictor variables found that one primary factor differentiated the five groups on both core eating pathology and psychiatric variables.

Discussion

The implications of testing this model within a treatment-seeking sample are discussed. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 83–97, 2003.

Ancillary