DISORDERED EATING, ACCULTURATION, AND TREATMENT-SEEKING IN A COMMUNITY SAMPLE OF HISPANIC, ASIAN, BLACK, AND WHITE WOMEN

Authors


  • This work was conducted at California State University, Los Angeles.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Fary Cachelin, Department of Psychology, California State University at Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032-8227. E-mail: fcachel@calstatela.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine disordered eating, acculturation, and treatment-seeking in a community sample of Hispanic, Asian, Black, and White women. Participants were 118 women with disordered eating (49 Hispanic, 21 Asian, 23 Black, and 25 White) and 118 healthy controls. Interviews were conducted to assess eating and weight-related behaviors, psychiatric symptoms, acculturation, and health care usage. Results indicated that the four ethnic groups were equally likely to present behavioral symptoms of bulimia, anorexia, or a binge-eating disorder. Hispanics were the most likely to use diuretics, and Black women were the most likely to use laxatives. Despite psychological distress among the eating disorder group, only a small percentage had received treatment during the past year; the eating disorder group was more likely than the controls to report that they had been denied treatment. More acculturated individuals were more likely to suffer from eating problems, and among the eating disorder group, less acculturated individuals were less likely to have received treatment.

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