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ERIC Number: EJ871145
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
An Assessment of Perceived Emotional Intelligence and Eating Attitudes among College Students
Pettit, Michele L.; Jacobs, Sue C.; Page, Kyle S.; Porras, Claudia V.
American Journal of Health Education, v41 n1 p46-52 Jan-Feb 2010
Background: Disordered eating patterns continue to surface on college campuses. Studies are needed to examine the potential influence of emotional intelligence on disordered eating behavior. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess relationships between perceived emotional intelligence factors and eating disorder symptoms among male and female college students. Methods: A convenience sample (N = 418) of college students completed online surveys consisting of items from the Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS) and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26). Results: Inverse relationships existed between: (1) clarity (i.e., TMMS factor involving the capacity to comprehend one's mood) and bulimia/food preoccupation (r = -0.177, P = 0.001) and (2) repair (i.e., TMMS factor involving the capacity to fix unfavorable moods or sustain favorable ones) and bulimia/food preoccupation (r = -0.151, P = 0.004). Females scored higher than males on dieting (M = 28.80 and M = 19.38, respectively), bulimia/food preoccupation (M = 8.27 and M = 4.56, respectively), oral control (M = 9.92 and M = 8.65, respectively), and total eating attitudes (M = 46.99 and M = 32.51, respectively). Gender was the only significant predictor of dieting, and was the most significant predictor of bulimia/food preoccupation, oral control (i.e., a factor potentially indicative of healthy eating behaviors), and total eating attitudes. Discussion: Results confirm gender differences regarding eating disorder symptoms and indicate that low levels of perceived emotional intelligence (i.e., clarity and repair) are associated with greater risks for bulimia/food preoccupation. Translation to Health Education Practice: Future research is needed to investigate factors that protect males from developing eating disorder symptoms. Health educators need to recognize the potential efficacy of incorporating emotional intelligence factors into eating disorder prevention programs and teach individuals skills for healthy coping. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A