Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The purpose of this study was to test a general stress-related health behavior model as it applied to binge eating and obesity in African Americans using path analysis. Acculturation, racism, emotional distress, binge eating, and obesity were among the variables related to this theory, and included in the model. Other variables that have been implicated in the study of obesity in African Americans were also included, such as; lack of body dissatisfaction, accepting attitudes towards obesity, decreased dietary restraint, increased dietary fat intake and decreased physical activity. The study sample was 325 African Americans, including 187 females with a mean age of 28.59 (SD = 11.47) and mean percent body fat of 34.86 (SD = 9.74); and, 138 males, with a mean age of 30.67 (SD =13.06), and mean percent body fat of 21.73 (SD = 9.14). A revised baseline model was estimated via post-hoc analyses, which achieved adequate fit. Four multiple group path analyses were conducted to test for overall gender differences, specific gender differences, and cross validation of the overall and female models. The male model was significantly different from the female model, and both achieved adequate fit. Males and females differed significantly from one another on 6 of the 19 paths in the revised model. The males appeared to fit the model significantly better than the females. All proposed variables, with the exclusion of dietary fat intake, were retained in the models and provided useful information in explaining obesity in African Americans. Longitudinal studies that include these variables is warranted, and could provide information on the risk factors for binge eating and obesity in African Americans, which could then be targeted in specifically tailored prevention and treatment programs.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Donald A. Williamson



Included in

Psychology Commons