The researchers decided to do this study because even though eating disorders are known to happen a lot in college women very little longitudinal studies have been completed. Hypothesis: The researchers hypothesize that unique demands and stressors that late adolescents face in making the transition to college would increase the likelihood of disordered eating behaviors that college women experience in their first year on campus. Independent and dependent variables: The dependent variable is eating pathology, which was measured by the restraint and bulimia scales.
The independent variable is the number of times the participants to the questionnaires. Some took both the first test and the test seven months later. Some only took the first. Subjects and methods: The subjects were 225 college freshman women. 86% of the women were 18 years old and 95% were white. This was a longitudinal study. The methods included several tests.
The tests were administered in a group setting and given in a seven-month interval. The Bulimia Scale was used to assess the tendencies to think about and/or engage in uncontrollable eating.The Figure Dissatisfaction test had the participants choose images of what they thought they looked like and what they would rather look like. The profile of mood tested for anger, depression, confusion, fatigue, and tension. The situational appetite measure asked questions about the participants” ability to resist urges of overeating when variables such as relaxation, hunger, and negative feelings were involved.
There was also to questionnaires about alcohol use and abuse given.They included questions such as the number of drinks consumed in a week and how often they drove drunk and drank alone. Results and conclusions: The bulimia score was significantly associated with the body mass index. Women who scored higher on bulimia tended to have high scores on figure dissatisfaction, ineffectiveness, public self-consciousness, and low levels of self-efficacy to control eating habits when negative feelings were involved. Individuals high on restraint also tended to be high in figure dissatisfaction, ineffectiveness, and public self-consciousness.This also led to the belief that there is a loss of control over eating habits when strong emotions are involved. Most participants that were dissatisfied with their bodies were more likely to worsen by the end of the study.
Do the results support the original hypothesis? I believe that although the tests proved that there is direct correlation between participants being unsatisfied with their body leading to forms of eating disorders but I think that the experiment failed to prove the connection with stresses of a first year at college.Ethical concerns: The study of the participants” alcohol use could be considered an ethical concern due to the fact that the median age of the participants” was 17. 95 years old and the legal age for drinking is 21 years old. Another ethical concern could be that the tests were administered in a group setting where there was very little privacy. The tests could also cause some emotional damage because it causes the girls to really think about their eating problems constantly. Two potential research questions that emerge from this study:Do the eating disorders of women in college stay strong throughout the rest of their time at college or do they get better when they get used to college life and stressors deplete? What kind of eating pathologies do athletic males face due to the type of sport they are involved in? Is this research relevant? I believe that some parts of this research were relevant and some were not.
All the tests were administered correctly but I believe that the fact that they were given in a group setting could sway the results due to little privacy and the participants wanting to give acceptable answers rather than the truth.