Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 42

P06-021 - Exploring the Relationships of Perfectionism and Disturbed Eating Behaviors among Asian-American College Students

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Evidence exists indicating a positive relationship between disturbed eating behaviors and perfectionism. However, research regarding the relation of subdimensions of perfectionism to disturbed eating is still sorely needed. Another pivotal element to take into consideration in this line of research is acculturation, yet even less has been done in terms of the effects of acculturation on this interplay. Therefore, this cross-sectional study was conducted among Asian-American college students to 1) confirm the positive correlations between perfectionism and disturbed eating; 2) examine the relationships of subdimensions of perfectionism with disturbed eating; and 3) explore the influences of acculturation on the interplay between perfectionism and disturbed eating behaviors.

It was an online survey with a total of 80 items. All subjects were recruited from the Rutgers University, New Brunswick from September to December 2016. Recruitment procedures included posting flyers on university student centers; making announcements on Sakai webpages via contacting instructors; and sending email invitations through departments and Rutgers Listserv. The research protocol was approved by the Rutgers University Institutional Review Board and informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Drawing on data from 172 Asian-American college students, results of regression analysis confirmed that perfectionism is a strong predictor of disturbed eating behaviors. It was also found that the relation of disturbed eating to maladaptive aspects of perfectionism was positively significant. However, this study did not reveal any significant influence of acculturation on either perfectionism or disturbed eating, yet a possible buffering effect of acculturation on the association between perfectionism and disturbed eating was suggested by the present study. In addition, a positive correlation between BMI and disturbed eating was detected in the manner expected.

To summarize, study indicates a general heightened risk of having disturbed eating behaviors among Asian-American college students. Targeting maladaptive perfectionism could be a promising avenue by which the education on disturbed eating or even treatment outcomes of eating disorders are maximized.

Funding Source: N/A
Survey Flyer

Consent Form


CoAuthors: John Worobey – Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Virginia Quick – Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Carol Byrd-Bredbenner – Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Qing Chen

Teaching Assistant
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
North Brunswick, New Jersey