Exploring disordered eating among college males using the objectification theory
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Background: Research reveals disordered eating behaviors among college males and females. Males comprise approximately 10% of all cases of diagnosed eating disorders, with a larger number exhibiting disordered eating symptoms. Previous research explored the relationship between disordered eating among female students and objectification experiences though Objectification Theory. This study examines the relationship between disordered eating and objectification experiences of college males. Methods: Data were collected across three semesters in 2012, through an online survey comprised of items from the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) and the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (OBCS), distributed to introductory health course students. Investigators conducted descriptive statistics, correlations, and linear regression analyses. Results: Most of the 217 male respondents were white (65.9%), heterosexual (94.0%), single (not dating anyone) (55.3%), and either of junior or senior classification (65.7%). Correlation analyses revealed a statistically significant relationship between EAT-26 and OBCS composite scores (r=.249, p=.000). Two of the OBCS subscales, Body Shame and Body Surveillance, were also statistically significantly related to EAT-26 total scores (r=.501, p=.000; r=.159, p=.020). Linear regression analyses indicated that Body Shame subscale scores were statistically significant in predicting EAT-26 composite scores. Demographic factors including participants' race, grade point average, sexual orientation, relationship status, academic classification, and college major were not Conclusion: The results of this study are of limited generalizability yet indicate that the relationships between EAT-26 and OBCS scores are similar among males as compared to previously observed among females. Subsequently, college-level health promotion efforts should incorporate male and female-focused interventions regarding healthy eating habits.
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe: After this presentation, the learner will be able to describe disordered eating behaviors.
Identify: After this presentation, the learner will be able to identify objectification experiences.
Describe: After this presentation, the learner will be to describe risk associated with disordered eating behaviors among males.
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold a M.S. degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences, and am currently coordinating multiple health education research efforts specifically related to disordered eating and objectification among college students.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.