Do Financial Difficulties Put Students at Risk of Eating Disorders?

Do Financial Difficulties Put Students at Risk of Eating Disorders?

Do Financial Difficulties Put Students at Risk of Eating Disorders?

Research has previously been able to link financial difficulties with poor mental health in students, but research has not as yet considered if financial difficulties could contribute to eating disorders.

New research recently published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders aimed to consider if this could be the case:

This study therefore used a longitudinal design to examine the between financial difficulties and eating attitudes in a sample of British undergraduates, hypothesising that increased financial difficulties will predict more severe eating attitudes and vice versa.

The study also explored if financial difficulties and social economic status was related.

>> The Psychology of Eating Animals

The research team recruited 444 participants from universities throughout the UK and asked questions examining whether factors such as “finances, demographics, and alcohol use” were related to mental health in students.

The study was able to find support for its hypothesis:
Greater financial difficulties predicted more severe eating attitudes up to a year later after controlling for baseline eating attitudes and demographic variables.
Although, the research team found this to be gender specific:
the results also indicate that there is a relationship between financial difficulties and eating attitudes in women but not men
While the researchers indicate more research may be needed in order to confirm the findings they suggest one possible reason for the findings:
The relationship between financial difficulties and eating attitudes may relate to models suggesting binge eating represents a need to escape from self-awareness
Source:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.22392/abstract