Bulimia and binge eating in college women: A comparison of personality and behavioral characteristics

Melanie A. Katzman, Sharlene A. Wolchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Assessed 9 behavioral and personality characteristics--restraint, binge eating, high self-expectations, demand for approval, body attitude, assertion, dating, self-esteem, and depression--that have been implicated in studying the onset of bulimia. Ss were 30 women who fulfilled an operationalized definition of the DSM-III criteria for bulimia (bulimics), 22 women who reported binge eating 8 or more times per month but did not fulfill the criteria for bulimia (binge eaters), and 28 women who did not binge eat (controls). Ss completed measures that included the Beck Depression Inventory, a self-esteem index, and the short form of the Personality Attributes Questionnaire. In comparison to controls, bulimics were more depressed and had lower self-esteem, poorer body image, higher self-expectations, higher need for approval, greater restraint, and higher binge-eating scores. Binge eaters exhibited higher restraint and binge-eating scores than controls. Bulimics and binge eaters differed significantly on all but a few variables. Results suggest that treatment for bulimics should extend beyond the disturbed eating pattern and that the distinction between binge eating and bulimia is an important one. Some empirical support for the DSM-III definition of bulimia was found. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-428
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • body attitude &
  • dating, bulimic vs binge-eating female college students
  • demand for approval &
  • depression &
  • dieting concern &
  • eating behavior &
  • self esteem &
  • self expectations &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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