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This study examined whether self-esteem is the primary predictor of disordered eating. A survey measured levels of self-esteem and a variety of other health behaviors in 196 male and 263 female undergraduate students. We conducted stepwise regressions to determine which of several variables (self-esteem, high stress, poor coping skills, maladaptive perfectionism, gender) best predicted disordered eating. The results indicated that self-esteem was the secondary predictor for bulimia, drive for thinness, and body dissatisfaction. Future research should further investigate how self-esteem interacts with other predictor variables to better determine the relationship between self-esteem and disordered eating.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. © 2009, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License ( The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Personality and Individual Differences, doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2006.10.026