Harm avoidance and novelty seeking: Do these components moderate the relationship between disordered eating and substance abuse?

Meghan L Feehan, Pace University

Abstract

The present study aims to expand on the existing literature by examining the relationship between the temperament components of novelty seeking and harm avoidance and the maladaptive behaviors of disordered eating and substance abuse. A sample of 202 female undergraduates completed self-report questionnaires measuring each of the variables of interest. Alike prior research, a significant correlation was found between disordered eating and substance abuse. Moreover, regression analysis revealed that disordered eating positively and significantly predicted substance use in college-aged women. It was also hypothesized that novelty seeking and harm avoidance would moderate this relationship between disordered eating and substance use. Although novelty seeking was significantly correlated with both disordered eating and substance abuse, it was not found to moderate the relationship between the two disorders. Moreover, harm avoidance was found to be significantly correlated only to disordered eating and not to substance abuse. Although these components were not found to moderate the relationship between disordered eating and substance abuse, the positive correlation between novelty seeking with these disorders suggests a relationship to be further investigated. In addition, the predictive value of disordered eating for the development of substance abuse within a college age, nonclinical sample is asserted. Implications of these findings can be utilized by mental health professionals as well as school and university administrators. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Meghan L Feehan, "Harm avoidance and novelty seeking: Do these components moderate the relationship between disordered eating and substance abuse?" (January 1, 2007). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3288345.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3288345

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