The relationships among trauma, stress, ethnicity, and binge eating

Ellen F. Harrington, Janis H. Crowther, Heather C. Payne Henrickson, Kristin D. Mickelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The present study investigated whether trauma, stress, and discriminatory experiences influenced binge eating among 93 African American and 85 Caucasian women. Trauma and stress were significantly related to binge eating for both groups, although the stress- binge eating relationship was stronger for Caucasian women. Ethnicity did not moderate the relationship between trauma and binge eating, but did moderate the stress-binge eating relationship. Finally, the hypothesis that trauma and stress would influence binge eating through their effects on function of eating was partially supported; the relationship between stress and binge eating was partially mediated by function of eating among Caucasian women. The implications of these findings for our understanding of binge eating are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-229
Number of pages18
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Binge eating
  • Discrimination
  • Ethnicity
  • Stress
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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