Disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, psychological adjustment, and ethnic identity: A comparison of black and white female college students

Kay Kosak Abrams, La Rue Allen, James J. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The low prevalence of restrictive eating disorders among black women has been attributed primarily to cultural differences in the definition of beauty. Utilizing self‐report measures, this study examined differences in the nature of disordered eating behaviors for black and for white female college students. Analyses of covariance and correlational tests revealed that white females demonstrated significantly greater disordered eating attitudes and behaviors than black females. Additionally, the data indicated that although disordered eating behaviors and attitudes are related to actual weight problems for black females, this is not the case for white females. Furthermore, this study is the first to provide evidence that restrictive eating disorders among black women are related to the degree to which they assimilate to mainstream culture. Finally disordered eating behaviors and attitudes were related to depression, anxiety, and low self‐esteem in both groups. © 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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