Prevalence and correlates of bulimia nervosa and bulimic behaviors in a racially diverse sample of undergraduate students in two universities in Southeast Texas

Amy R. Pemberton, Sally W. Vernon, Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This cross-sectional survey used a self-report questionnaire to measure the prevalence and correlates of bulimia nervosa and bulimic behaviors in a sample of undergraduate students enrolled in two state-supported universities in Texas in 1990. In one university, the student population was predominantly white; in the other, it was predominantly nonwhite. Bulimia status was assessed using criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised (DSM-III-R), of the American Psychiatric Association and was operationalized using the Revised Bulimia Test. Overall, 0.9% of the sample, 1.3% of the females, and 0.2% of the males were classified as having bulimia nervosa. The prevalence of bulimic behaviors was 5.4% overall, 6.6% for females, and 3.6% for males. There was no racial/ethnic difference in the prevalence of bulimia nervosa or bulimic behaviors; 1.5% of the whites (n = 459) and 0.4% of the nonwhites (n = 693) were classified as having bulimia nervosa, while 5.5% of the whites and 5.3% of the nonwhites reported bulimic behaviors. In univariate analysis, female sex, obesity, dieting behavior, and a family history of alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression were statistically associated with bulimic behaviors. After adjustment for covariates, only obesity and dieting behavior were statistically significant. We concluded that the sex difference in bulimic behaviors reported in other studies may be due to the failure to control for confounding factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-455
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume144
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Bulimia Nervosa
Students
Bulimia
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Obesity
Sex Characteristics
Self Report
Alcoholism
Substance-Related Disorders
Cross-Sectional Studies
Depression

Keywords

  • bulimia
  • eating disorders
  • prevalence
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Prevalence and correlates of bulimia nervosa and bulimic behaviors in a racially diverse sample of undergraduate students in two universities in Southeast Texas. / Pemberton, Amy R.; Vernon, Sally W.; Lee, Eun.

In: American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 144, No. 5, 01.09.1996, p. 450-455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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