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Problematic eating behaviour among female university students: applying the sociocultural model

Patel, Heena (2016) Problematic eating behaviour among female university students: applying the sociocultural model. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)


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The present study examined the role of sociocultural pressures, body dissatisfaction and self-esteem, that may influence Problematic Eating Behaviour (PEB) in female university students (N = 108), by evaluating the utility of the sociocultural theory to help understand PEB. It explored whether self-control has a unique influence on PEB. Via opportunity sampling, 108 females participated in an online survey comprising of five well-established questionnaires: the EAT-26, BSQ-34; Perceived Sociocultural Pressure Scale Questionnaire; Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale and10-Item Self-Scoring Self-Control Scale. Pearson’s correlation coefficients and hierarchical regression analyses were computed. Findings indicated significant positive correlations between sociocultural pressures; body dissatisfaction with PEB; significant negative correlations between self-esteem and PEB and significant negative correlation between self-control and PEB. Hierarchical regression analyses did replicate such results; however, self-control and self-esteem were not found to be strong predictors of PEB, while body dissatisfaction and sociocultural pressures were stronger predictors. Therefore, self-control did not indicate a unique influence on PEB. The findings were consistent with previous research, so it can be concluded that such variables were predictive of PEB, thus supporting the utility of the sociocultural theory in explaining PEB. Future research needs to consider self-esteem and self-control as eating domain variables rather than global constructs, which is discussed in future research implications.

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