The Relationship Between Eating Disorders, Body Image, Depression and Self-Esteem among College Women

  • Published : 2002.12.25


This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between an eating disorder, body image, depression and self-esteem amongst a subject group of 282 college women between Jan.,1st and 30th,2002, to provide base data for eating disorder levels of college women and to provide base data for health control. The evaluative instrument was a constructive questionnaire that consisted of 8 items of general characteristics and weight control questions, 24 questions relating to eating disorders, 17 questions pertaining to body image, 10 questions pertaining to depression and 10 questions pertaining to self-esteem. To identify the levels of an eating disorder, body image, depression and self-esteem perceived by subjects, the researcher used means and SDs. To test the significance of a subject's eating disorder, body image, depression and self-esteem according to the BMI, the researcher used the t-test. To test the correlation between the BMI, an eating disorder, body image, depression and self-esteem, the researcher used Pearson correlation coefficient. The results of this study are as follows. The mean score for anorexia nervosa was 31.52 and the mean score for bulimia nervosa was 24.12. Differences between the underweight group and the normal weight group in the level of eating disorders were significant (t=-6.94, p=.000). There were high positive correlations between the BMI and an eating disorder (r=.383, p<.01), between an eating disorder and depression (r=.161, p<.01), between body image and self-esteem (r=.653, p<.01). In addition, there were high negative correlations between an eating disorder and body image (r=-.214, p<01), between an eating disorder and self-esteem (r=-.196, p<.01), between depression and body image (r=-.541, p<.01), and between depression and self-esteem (r=-.537, p<.01). These results indicate that Korean college women need more education and counseling on dietary habits. Also, the systemic efforts reestablish the social standard of the beauty should be taken. Further empirical and experimental studies would be required for investigating for the factors influencing the eating attitude of the college women and discriminating the variables affecting the various specific dimensions of the eating attitude.


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