Relationship Between Sexual Assault and Development of Eating Disorders in Domestic and International College Women [Miami University]
Keywords:Sexual Assault, Eating Disorders, College Women
One in four women will experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime and 0.3-1% of women will experience anorexia nervosa in their lifetime (Hoek, 2006). Compared to other psychiatric disorders, anorexia has been found to have the highest mortality rate (Morris, 2007). Anorexia nervosa has a mortality rate of 10% (Insel, 2012). Additionally, college women seem to be at great risk for both eating disorders and experiencing sexual assault. While a few studies examine the relationship between eating disorder behavior and sexual assault, it is unclear if this risk is different across year in school and for those who are members of sororities. The objective of this study is to extend the literature by examining some groups who might be at higher or lower risk for both sexual assault and disordered eating. Given the higher rates of eating disorders and sexual assault, college women will be the focus of the current study. An anonymous online survey with census sampling was used to obtain the data for this study. It was only distributed to college students around the ages of 18-22. Data collection is ongoing. It is hypothesized that members of sororities and older students will have higher rates of both behaviors. Interventions can utilize the results of this study to target students who might be at a particularly higher risk. Implications will be discussed.
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