Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Donald A. Williamson

Abstract

Over the past decade there has been growing concern about the syndrome of bulimia nervosa. Current theoretical models of the etiology and symptomatology of bulimia predict that the psychopathology of the eating disorder worsens over time. The specific purposes of this study was to examine the effect of onset age and duration of the disorder on the primary and secondary psychopathology of bulimia nervosa at the time of presentation for treatment. The results suggest that binging and purging worsen with increasing duration and older age of onset, accompanied by increased weight and greater distortion of body size estimation. Furthermore, subjects appeared to become increasingly inactive and socially isolated with longer duration and older age of onset. These conclusions were discussed in terms of current theoretical models of bulimia nervosa and the need for integration of developmental variables into future research regarding the etiology of eating disorders.

Pages

103

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