Date Approved

2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Karen Saules, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Carol Freedman-Doan, PhD

Committee Member

Flora Hoodin, PhD

Abstract

This study explored the association of identity impairment and interpersonal sensitivity (IPS) with binge eating disorder (BED). A convenience sample of 295 female undergraduate psychology students from a large Midwestern university was recruited to complete an online survey. Three primary hypotheses were tested: (1) IPS (high fear of negative evaluation and selfconsciousness) would be associated with binge eating; (2) Identity impairment (few total and positive possible selves, many negative possible selves, and a high ratio of negative to total possible selves) would be associated with binge eating; and 3) There would be a significant interaction between identity impairment and IPS on binge eating. Results showed that IPS and negative possible selves were significantly associated with binge eating, and there was an interaction effect for fear of negative evaluation and negative possible selves. Results suggest that IPS, and to a lesser extent, identity impairment should be addressed when treating binge eating.

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