Body-Image Disturbances in Adolescent Female Binge–Purgers: A Brief Report of the Results of a National Survey in the U.S.A.


Requests for reprints to: Thomas F. Cash, Department of Psychology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529–0267, U.S.A.


Abstract A sample (N=114) of adolescent female binge-pursers were among the respondents to a nationwide survey on body-image. Relative to female controls (N=114) who were matched on age, height and weight, binge-purgers evaluated their physical appearance, fitness and health much less favourably. However, they reported being man? appearance-oriented and fitness-oriented than controls. Regardless of actual weight, binge-purgers more often distorted their body size as heavier than did controls, displayed more anxious preoccupation about their weight and weight gain and reported much more frequent eating restraint to lose weight, Binge-purgers also considered themselves to be more poorly psychosocially adjusted, with a reported childhood history of appearance-related conflicts. Discriminant function analysis indicated that the above variables were very accurate in classifying the two groups.