Objective: In treatment of binge eating, measures of self-concept, eating self-efficacy, and social support were examined at 0, 6, and 18 months to determine if improvements in these variables were associated with reductions in binge eating severity.
Method: Obese adult females (N = 125) were treated for 6 months, with 12 months of maintenance meetings. The Binge Eating Scale (BES), Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSC), Dieter's Inventory of Eating Temptations (DIET), and a social support measure (SocSup) were used.
Results: Over the first 6 months, improvements in BES were associated with improvements in the TSC and DIET. Over 18 months, improvements in BES were associated with improvements in the TSC, DIET, and SocSup.
Discussion: Therapy for binge eating should result in improvement in self-concept and eating self-efficacy, as well as reductions in binge eating. This study showed that self-concept and eating self-efficacy were associated with improvement in binge eating severity. The association with social support did not appear until long-term follow-up. Improvement in self-concept and eating self-efficacy may be processes leading to clinical improvement in this eating disorder, or they may result from changes in binge eating.
Copyright 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.