Leslie Albion

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Clinical Psychology

Colleges & School

College Of Arts And Sciences

First Advisor

Anupama Harvey, PhD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Eating disorders;Diet; Attachment behavior;Food habits


Eating disorder symptoms among young women today continue to be a growing concern. Many women, teenagers, and young girls struggle with a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), or ED-NOS eating disorder not otherwise specified. There continues to be an emphasis on “thinness” in our society, which contributes to symptoms and diagnoses. Several research projects have focused on what factors can combine to make a female (or male) more susceptible to developing an eating disorder. The present study attempted to examine the link between attachment theory, or specifically attachment to parents and attachment in adulthood and eating disorder symptoms. The present study also explored eating disorder symptoms and the presence of past engagement in special diets, i.e. vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, etc. The sample consisted of 66 female college students who answered questions from the following measures: Short Evaluation of Eating disorders (SEED), Attachment Styles Questionnaire (ASQ), Parental Attachment Questionnaire (PAQ), and questions related to special diet engagement. In the present study it was predicted, but not supported that there would be a relationship between insecure attachment overall and eating disordered behavior. It was also predicted, but not supported that there would be a correlation between insecure attachments with a father or the mother and eating disordered behavior. The present study also predicted that individuals who engage in special diets are more likely to have eating disordered behaviors, and those individuals who engage in special diets are more likely to have an insecure attachment. These results were mixed, and there was significance for Anorexia Nervosa total severity index (AN-TSI or behaviors that were tied to Anorexic AN behaviors) but not for Bulimia Nervosa- TSI, or bulimia linked behaviors. Suggestions for future research and clinical implications are also discussed.


On-Campus Access

OCLC Number