Date of Award
Eating Behaviors, Eating Attitudes, Relationships, Quality, Availability, Food-insecurity
Applied Behavior Analysis | Cognition and Perception | Cognitive Psychology | Health Psychology | Social Psychology
University students are particularly vulnerable to disordered eating behaviors and attitudes. This study seeks to expand upon the knowledge base of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors in university students by employing a netnography as a precursor to the main study to establish the following research questions: What is the relationship between the perceived quality of campus dining services and disordered eating attitudes in university students? What is the relationship between the perceived availability of campus dining services and disordered eating attitudes in university students? And, lastly, how does prior experience with campus dining services affect university students eating patterns and attitudes towards food once they are no longer dependent on these services? Literature indicates that food-insecure college students experience significantly higher rates of disordered eating behaviors. Alternating periods of access to food and deprivation mimics the physiological and behavioral effects of dieting and promotes overeating behaviors due to elevated periods of consistent hunger deprivation. Thus, individuals who suffer from food insecurity are at a significantly higher risk of developing an eating disorder. After the data was cleaned, the study had a sample size of 88 participants. Students at an upper midwestern university were surveyed online via convenience sampling and were primarily Caucasian females M=18.91. Participants completed questionnaires that measured eating attitudes, risk behaviors, eating behaviors, and relationship with campus dining services. A statistically significant relationship between the availability of services and disordered eating attitudes was found. Additionally, a statistically significant relationship between the availability of services and risk behaviors was found. However, no statistically significant correlation existed between first-year dependence on on-campus dining services and risk behavior related to eating disorders or eating attitudes. Based on this data, we know that the quality of nutrition provided and the availability of campus dining services impacted students’ eating attitudes and behaviors, not inherent dependence.
Bartling, Benjamin A., "UNDERSTANDING DISORDERED EATING ATTITUDES AND PATTERNS IN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO CAMPUS DINING SERVICES" (2023). Honors Thesis. 277.