Prevalence of bulimia within a university female student population
Peterson, Janis L.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of bulimia within a specific university population; and, to identify the presence of existing relationships among varying degrees of bulimic behavior and selected demographic factors. A 36-item questionnaire, based upon diagnostic criteria as outlined in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), was administered to a random sample of 407 University of Wisconsin ? La Crosse female students (ten percent from each of the four class levels) possessing fulltime status. Demographic factors, and eating behaviors and attitudes were identified and analyzed using nonparametric methods of chi-square analysis, Kruskal-Wallis One-way Analysis of Variance, and the Mann-Whitney U Test, (p < .05). Results identified 17.2% of the respondents as bulimic, 17.6% as possibly bulimic, and 65.2% as not bulimic. Analysis produced no significant difference of bulimia prevalence between sub-groups of the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior academic levels. Analysis of demographic data produced no statistically significant relationship of bulimia prevalence with age, living accommodations, meal accommodations, grade point average, family income, and number of sisters. A relationship of bulimia prevalence with the number of brothers was identified. This research has indicated a substantial prevalence of bulimia within the female student population at the University of Wisconsin ? La Crosse. The findings are supportive of results of other studies previously conducted. In light of the potentially devastating physical and psychological effects of bulimia on an individual, this research identifies a problem which must be regarded as serious.
Women college students -- Health and hygiene