An Examination of the Relation of Gender, Mass Media Influence, and Loneliness to Disordered Eating Among College Students

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Previous research has found that mass media influence and loneliness relate to disordered eating behaviors in women, but little is known about this relation in men. The present study examined the relations among disordered eating patterns, gender, mass media influence, and loneliness in male and female college students. Results of a stepwise regression revealed that disordered eating attitudes and behaviors (as measured by the Eating Attitudes Test-26) were predicted by mass media influence, gender, and loneliness, respectively. In the present study both male and female college students appear susceptible to developing disordered eating patterns. Clinicians may wish to address unrealistic comparisons to media and client interpersonal skills when designing treatment plans.

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