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Keywords:

  • dieting;
  • binge eating;
  • self-efficacy;
  • perfectionism;
  • stress

Abstract

Objective:

This study investigated domain-specific (appearance, interpersonal, and academic) interactive relationships of perfectionism, self-efficacy, and stress to dieting and binge eating, positing that the level of weight/shape self-efficacy would be pivotal in identifying elevated dieting versus elevated binge eating.

Method:

Participants were 406 randomly selected undergraduate women. At two time points (T1 and T2), 11 weeks apart, participants completed measures of dieting and binge eating attitudes/behaviors as well as domain-specific measures of perfectionism and self-efficacy (e.g., perfectionism related to appearance). Between T1 and T2, participants completed inventories weekly on the previous week's weight/shape, interpersonal, and academic stressors.

Results:

The combination of high interpersonal perfectionism, low interpersonal self-efficacy, high interpersonal stress, and high weight/shape self-efficacy was associated with the most elevated dieting. The hypothesized interactions related to the appearance and academic domains where not supported.

Conclusion:

These results highlight the interpersonal context for dieting and the unique relationship between weight/shape self-efficacy and dieting. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008