To examine eating disorder (ED) symptomatology, related clinical impairment, and comorbid psychopathology in college women with EDs across five racial and two ethnic groups.
Participants were 690 women from 28 US universities who screened positive for an ED. Thirteen variables assessing ED symptoms, related clinical impairment, and comorbid psychopathology were compared across racial and ethnic groups using analyses of variance (ANOVAs) and independent samples t-tests.
Across racial groups, significant differences emerged in binge eating and laxative use. Asian women reported significantly more binge eating than White women (p < .01). Individuals self-identified as the "Other" racial group reported greater laxative use than Asian and White women (ps ≤ .01). No other significant differences emerged across all other variables (ps ≥ .13). Across ethnic groups, Hispanic women reported significantly more laxative use (p < .01), and more comorbid insomnia symptoms (p = .03) than non-Hispanic women. No other significant differences were observed (ps ≥ .24).
Findings suggest that binge eating, laxative use, and insomnia symptoms differ across racial and ethnic groups in US college women who screened positive for EDs. Findings can inform tailoring of ED screening to reduce current disparities in these underrepresented populations.
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