The interpersonal model of binge eating disorder proposes that social problems lead to negative affect which, in turn, precipitates binge eating episodes. However, no study to date has examined this model among youth who report loss of control (LOC) eating. Participants were 219 non-treatment-seeking children and adolescent volunteers, age 8-17 years (13.1 +/- 2.8 y; 50% female). Children's social problems were assessed by parent report. Youth completed self-report questionnaires of negative affect that assessed depressive symptoms and anxiety. Participants were interviewed to determine the presence or absence of LOC eating in the month prior to assessment. Structural equation modeling analyses found that social problems were positively related to LOC eating presence (p = .02). Negative affect mediated the relationship between social problems and LOC eating (95% CI Product = .00247, .01336). These preliminary results suggest that the interpersonal model of binge eating may describe one possible pathway for the development of LOC eating among non-treatment-seeking youth.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.