Stephens, questions regarding eating habits to help

Stephens, S. G., & Wilke, D. J. (2016). Sexual violence, weight perception, and eating disorder indicators in college females. Journal of American College Health, 64, 38-47. Doi: 10.1080/07448481.2015.1074237The general topic of the study was how does sexual violence relate to weight perception and eating disorders in female college students.The study was correlational.The variables involved in the study were; severity of sexual violence, accuracy of individuals perception of their body weight and indicators of a eating disorder.The variables that are thought to be predictive was severity of sexual violence.The variable thought to be predicted was indicators of eating disorders.The hypotheses was that students who reported instances of sexual violence would also report indicators of disorders in higher amounts than students who didn’t report sexual violence. Within the different sexual violence groups that having a inaccurate perception of body weight was likely to increase likelihood of indicators of a eating disorder. Participants were 6090 women in college who were 25 years old or younger who were randomly selected from a sample of 35,000 students at a university who were invited to respond between 2004-2013. The majority (72%) were White followed by (10.4%) Hispanic, (8.9%) Black, (4.2%) other, (3%) Asian or Pacific Islander, (0.8%) American Indian and (0.7%) didn’t fill in their ethnicity.  The mean age was 20.2 years and the mean BMI was 23.3.The materials used were: 7 questions regarding sxual violence experienced in the last 12 months, a self-reported description of weight with 5 options ranging from very underweight to very overweight, the participants self-reported height in feet and inches and their actual weight in pounds which were used to calculate their BMI to compare it to their self-reported description of weight and then 4 questions of weight management habits in the last 30 days.  The procedure used by the researchers was a survey that was initially mail-out and then moved to web-based administration sent to randomly selected students each year from 2004-2013.It was found that due to the reality of sexual violence for women in college it is helpful for those working with victims of sexual violence to be aware of the possibility of victims engaging in eating disorders and to routinely asks questions regarding eating habits to help provide early intervention and to provide information regarding resources for treatment when appropriate.Due to the nature of the survey it is difficult to establish the order in which the variables: sexual violence, inaccurate body weight perception and eating disorders came in. It is also unknown on the sexual trauma history of the women extended past the 12 months that were surveyed for such as childhood sexual abuse. As the data was self-reported there may have been a reluctance to report information regarding eating disorders and sexual violence as well as accurate responses for height and weight used to calculate respondents BMI. There is also issues with using the BMI due to documented issues with its accuracy. The anonymity of the study might have allowed for a more accurate reporting of sexual violence as majority of sexual violence goes unreported. The studies separation of sexual violence into different level of severity allowed for a closer look at the impact of different levels can have on individuals.