Determination of difference between freshman and senior-level of psychology students in terms of the eating attitudes and psychological symptoms

Main Article Content

Saban Karayagiz


eating behaviors, appearance anxiety, perfectionism


Objective: Eating disorder (ED) is a deviation in eating habits that are based on insufficient or overeating and mental influences, causing serious problems such as anxiety. In recent years, some physical appearances have become more prominent in social settings such as TV and social media. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impacts of appearance with body dissatisfaction, perfectionism levels, and psychological symptoms of the university students on the eating attitude enrolled at the department of psychology. Particularly, it focused on whether any changes in the attitudes towards eating habits could change after psychology education in college.

Method: Data was collected from the psychology students at their freshman in 2015 and senor years in 2019 by utilizing a longitudinal study methodology. Data collection tools contained Positive and Negative Perfectionism Scale (PNPS), Social Appearance Anxiety Scale (SAAS), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT).

Study Group: A total of 53 college students were included in the study. Most of them (N=40, 75.6%) were female and few (N=13, 24.5%) were male. The average ages of the students were found 20.6 years old during the data collection process.

Results and Discussion: The findings showed that male students achieved lower scores than females in terms of eating habits (EAT) and psychological symptoms (BSI), and higher on appearance anxiety levels (SAAS) based on the results of the pretest and posttest sessions.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 11 | PDF Downloads 0


1. Cochrane, C. E., Brewerton, T. D., Wilson, D. B., & Hodges, E. L. (1993). Alexithymia in the eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 14(2), 219-222.
2. Lipson, S. K., & Sonneville, K. R. (2017). Eating disorder symptoms among undergraduate and graduate students at 12 US colleges and universities. Eating behaviors, 24, 81-88.
3. Mann, T., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Huang, K., Burgard, D., Wright, A., & Hanson, K. (1997). Are two interventions worse than none? Joint primary and secondary prevention of eating disorders in college females. Health Psychology, 16(3), 215.
4. Nelson, W. L., Hughes, H. M., Katz, B., & Searight, H. R. (1999). Anorexic eating attitudes and behaviors of male and female college students. Adolescence, 34(135), 621-633.
5. Rosen, J. C., Compas, B. E., & Tacy, B. (1993). The relation among stress, psychological symptoms, and eating disorder symptoms: A prospective analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 14(2), 153-162.
6. Minarik, M. L., & Ahrens, A. H. (1996). Relations of eating behavior and symptoms of depression and anxiety to the dimensions of perfectionism among undergraduate women. Cognitive therapy and research, 20(2), 155-169.
7. Mintz, L. B., & O'Halloran, M. S. (2000). The Eating Attitudes Test: validation with DSM-IV eating disorder criteria. Journal of personality assessment, 74(3), 489-503.
8. Furnham, A., Badmin, N., & Sneade, I. (2002). Body image dissatisfaction: Gender differences in eating attitudes, self-esteem, and reasons for exercise. The Journal of psychology, 136(6), 581-596.
9. Bulik, C. M., Sullivan, P. F., Fear, J. L., & Pickering, A. (2000). Outcome of anorexia nervosa: eating attitudes, personality, and parental bonding. International Journal of eating disorders, 28(2), 139-147.
10. Eisenberg, D., Nicklett, E. J., Roeder, K., & Kirz, N. E. (2011). Eating disorder symptoms among college students: Prevalence, persistence, correlates, and treatment-seeking. Journal of American College Health, 59(8), 700-707.
11. Arriaza, C. A., & Mann, T. (2001). Ethnic differences in eating disorder symptoms among college students: The confounding role of body mass index. Journal of American College Health, 49(6), 309-315.
12. Kırdök, O. (2004). Olumlu ve olumsuz mükemmeliyetçilik ölçeği geliştirme çalışması. Yayım-lanmamış Yüksek Lisans Tezi, Çukurova Üniversitesi, Adana.
13. Kovacs, M., & Beck, A. T. (1977). An empirical-clinical approach toward a definition of childhood depression. Depression in childhood: Diagnosis, treatment, and conceptual models, 1-25.
14. Spielberger, C. D. (1973). State-trait anxiety inventory for children. Consulting Psychologists Press.
15. Coopersmith, S. (1967). The antecedents of self-esteem. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman &Co.
16. Derogatis, L.R.(1993). BSI Brief Symptom Inventory: Administration, Scoring, and Procedure Manual (4th Ed.). Minneapolis, MN: National Computer Systems.
17. DM Garner, PE Garfinkel. The Eating Attitudes Test: An Index of the Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa. 9 Psychological Medicine 273-279. 1979.
18. Reyes‐Rodríguez, M. L., Franko, D. L., Matos‐Lamourt, A., Bulik, C. M., Von Holle, A., Cámara‐Fuentes, L. R., & Suárez‐Torres, A. (2010). Eating disorder symptomatology: prevalence among Latino college freshmen students. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66(6), 666-679.
19. Aruguete, M. S., DeBord, K. A., Yates, A., & Edman, J. (2005). Ethnic and gender differences in eating attitudes among black and white college students. Eating Behaviors, 6(4), 328-336.
20. Bas, M., Asçi, F. H., Karabudak, E., & Kiziltan, G. (2004). Eating attitudes and their psychological correlates among Turkish adolescents. Adolescence, 39(155), 593.
21. Phares, V., Steinberg, A. R., & Thompson, J. K. (2004). Gender differences in peer and parental influences: Body image disturbance, self-worth, and psychological functioning in preadolescent children. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 33(5), 421-429.
22. Nelson, W. L., Hughes, H. M., Katz, B., & Searight, H. R. (1999). Anorexic eating attitudes and behaviors of male and female college students. Adolescence, 34(135), 621-633.
23. Clarke, M. G., & Palmer, R. L. (1983). Eating attitudes and neurotic symptoms in university students. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 142(3), 299-304.