Self-efficacy beliefs and eating behavior in adolescent girls at-risk for excess weight gain and binge eating disorder

Authors

  • Deborah R. Glasofer PhD,

    1. Division of Clinical Therapeutics, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
    2. Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York
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  • David A.F. Haaga PhD,

    1. Department of Psychology, American University, Washington, District of Columbia
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  • Louise Hannallah BA,

    1. Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, Maryland
    2. Section on Growth and Obesity Program in Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Sara E. Field BA,

    1. Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, Maryland
    2. Section on Growth and Obesity Program in Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Merel Kozlosky MSRD,

    1. Nutrition Department, Clinical Center, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • James Reynolds MD,

    1. Nuclear Medicine Department, Hatfield Clinical Research Center, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Jack A. Yanovski MDPhD,

    1. Section on Growth and Obesity Program in Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Marian Tanofsky-Kraff PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, Maryland
    2. Section on Growth and Obesity Program in Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Correspondence to: Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, USUHS, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814. E-mail: marian.tanofsky-kraff@usuhs.edu

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ABSTRACT

Objective

To examine the relationship between self-related agency beliefs and observed eating behavior in adolescent girls with loss of control (LOC) eating.

Method

One-hundred eleven adolescent girls (14.5 ± 1.7 years; BMI: 27.1 ± 2.6 kg/m2) were administered the General Self-Efficacy Scale and the Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire (WEL). Adolescents then participated in a laboratory test meal.

Results

Greater general and eating self-efficacy were associated with fewer episodes of LOC eating. General self-efficacy was inversely related to total intake at the meal (p < .01). Only the WEL availability subscale score, but not the other WEL subscales, was inversely related to total energy, snack, and dessert intake (ps < 0.05).

Discussion

General self-related agency beliefs may be important in relation to energy consumption. Among girls susceptible to disordered eating and obesity, the domain-specific belief in one's ability to refrain from eating when food is widely available may be especially salient in determining overeating in the current food environment. Further research is therefore needed to assess the predictive validity of these beliefs on eating and weight outcomes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013; 46:663–668)

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