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Keywords:

  • eating symptoms;
  • parenting style;
  • co-occurring psychiatric symptoms;
  • college students

Objective

To test whether gender and parental factors moderate the relationships between symptoms of eating disorder (ED) and other psychiatric symptoms.

Methods

A total of 5,015 new entrants completed several questionnaires and 541individuals with ED symptoms were identified by the Adult Self-Report Inventory-4 that assessed a wide range of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition psychopathology. The participants also reported on their parents’ attitude toward them before their ages of 16.

Results

ED symptoms, female gender, less parental care, and more parental protection were associated with more severe co-occurring psychiatric symptoms. Gender and parental factors also demonstrated differential moderating effects on the relationships between ED and co-occurring psychiatric symptoms.

Conclusions

Parenting counseling may be individualized to young adults with ED symptoms and different co-occurring psychiatric symptoms.