Relationship between depression and body dissatisfaction in women diagnosed with bulimia nervosa




Body dissatisfaction and depression have consistently demonstrated a positive association in women. This study sought to determine the independence of this association from bulimic symptomatology among women diagnosed with bulimia nervosa.


Participants were 101 women who completed a controlled treatment study of bulimia nervosa and participated in follow-up assessments 10 years later.


Findings indicated that baseline levels of depression were independent of and superior to bulimic symptoms in prospectively predicting body dissatisfaction at follow-up assessment.


Findings suggest that depression may be a better prognostic indicator of body dissatisfaction than bulimic symptoms in women diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. A model in which depression represents a contributing factor for the maintenance of body dissatisfaction is discussed. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 48–56, 2001.