Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Eat Weight Disord. 2012 Sep;17(3):e164-9.

Academic examination stress increases disordered eating symptomatology in female university students.

Author information

1
Human Ecology Laboratory, Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Kallithea, Athens, Greece. costarv@hua.gr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is well documented that stress and anxiety can affect eating behaviour and food intake in humans. The purpose of the current study was to explore the possible effect of academic examination stress on disordered eating attitudes, emotional eating, restraint eating, body image, anxiety levels and self-esteem in a group of female university students. The interrelationships of the above parameters were also examined.

METHODS:

Sixty Greek female university students, 18-25 years old, have been recruited and completed, on two separate occasions: a) during an examination stress period, and b) during a control period, the following questionnaires: the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale, the Body Image Pictorial Instrument Scale (COLLINS) and a specially designed General Background Questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Subjects reported significantly higher levels of disordered eating attitudes (EAT-26, p=0.01), higher levels of anxiety (p=0.000) and lower levels of self-esteem (p=0.016) during the examination stress period compared to the control period. Disordered eating attitudes (EAT-26) were significantly positively correlated with emotional eating (p=0.04) and restrained eating (p=0.010) and negatively correlated with levels of self-esteem (p=0.05) and perceived desired body image (p=0.008) during the exam stress period. Finally, EAT-26 was significantly positively correlated with levels of anxiety in both study periods.

CONCLUSION:

Academic examination stress seems to increase disordered eating symptomatology in female university students and is associated with lower levels of self-esteem, an important finding which warrants further investigation.

PMID:
23086251
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center