Temporal relations between dietary restraint, depressive symptoms, and binge eating were tested by means of three competing models positing that (1) dietary restraint and depressive symptoms predict future increases in binge eating, (2) binge eating predicts future increases in dietary restraint and depressive symptoms, and (3) binge eating is reciprocally related to these two factors.
Longitudinal data from a community sample of Dutch females (N = 143; M age = 19.6) was used to test these relations while controlling for initial levels of these factors.
Dietary restraint did not predict future increases in binge eating, nor did binge eating predict future increases in dietary restraint. Depressive symptoms predicted future increases in binge eating, but binge eating did not predict future increases in depressive symptoms.
Although this study had limited statistical power, the pattern of relations and effect sizes suggest that depressive symptoms, but not dietary restraint, increase risk of binge eating for late adolescent females. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006; 39:700–707