Category: Eating Disorders

Symposium

Evaluating the Utility of Subtyping Male Undergraduates Along Dietary Restraint and Negative Affectivity

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire 400, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Eating Disorders | Gender
Presentation Type: Symposium

A number of empirically-based alternative classification systems for eating disorders (EDs) have been outlined in the literature in response to limitations of the current DSM-5 diagnostic system (Wildes & Marcus 2013). One approach that has received significant support is the dietary restraint (DR)/dietary restraint-negative affect (DR-NA) subtypes of bulimia (Stice & Agras, 1999). Based in the Dual Pathway Model (Stice, 2001), the classification system identifies two subtypes of women reporting binge eating—one subtype reports high levels of dietary restraint, and another endorses high levels of dietary restraint alongside elevated negative affect. Within clinical samples of women, those individuals endorsing both elevated restraint and negative affect generally endorse more severe eating pathology and a worse response to treatment (Stice et al., 2008). However, despite widespread support in treatment-seeking samples of women, investigation of the usefulness of this classification system in subclinical samples and males is limited. Evaluation of these subtypes in samples of males is particularly important in light of findings suggesting that the Dual Pathway Model may be more complex within male samples (e.g., Ricciardelli & McCabe, 2001). The purpose of the current study was to replicate the DR/DR-NA subtypes of disordered eating in a mixed gender sample of undergraduates and explore links between these subtypes with eating pathology. A sample of college students (N = 575, 53.3% female) completed the Eating Disorder Examination—Questionnaire and the Positive and Negative Affect Scales—Negative Affect Subscale (NA). For both men and women, k-means cluster analyses indicated three clusters: “healthy” (low NA, low to average restraint), elevated NA (average restraint, elevated NA), and “mixed” (elevated NA, high restraint) clusters. ANOVA and follow-up independent t-tests indicated that for women and men, the “mixed” cluster demonstrated significantly higher shape, weight, and eating concern than both the high NA and “healthy” clusters. Differences between the high NA and healthy clusters varied by gender, such that among men, the elevated NA cluster demonstrated significantly greater eating concerns than the “healthy” group. In women, the elevated NA group demonstrated significantly higher eating pathology than the “healthy group” across subscales. The full results from the investigation, as well as clinical and research implications of the current findings, will be outlined in the presentation.

Erin E. Reilly

Graduate Student
University at Albany, SUNY

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