Depressive Symptoms and Social Functioning in Peer Relationships as Predictors of Eating Pathology in the Transition to Adulthood

Published In: Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, v. 29, no. 2, Feb. 2010, p. 202-227

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2009

by Caitlin Ferriter, Nicole K. Eberhart, Constance L Hammen

Read More

Access further information on this document at the publisher's website

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The current study prospectively examined the independent and potentially interactive roles of social functioning in peer relationships and depressive symptoms in risk for eating pathology (EP). Social functioning in peer relationships was hypothesized to moderate the role of depressive symptoms in conferring risk for EP. This hypothesis was tested in a sample of 140 women, who were assessed over a five-year period during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The study found that depressive symptoms interacted with romantic relationship quality and romantic attachment, such that women with higher levels of depressive symptoms were at increased risk for EP when they experienced reduced functioning in these romantic domains. The results highlight the importance of considering multiple risk factors in models of EP and suggest that romantic relationships may be particularly important for EP risk during the transition to adulthood.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.