The Occurrence and Covariation of Binge Eating and Compensatory Behaviors Across Early to Mid-Adolescence

Heather A. Davis, Anna Marie L. Ortiz, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the occurrence and covariation of four eating disorder behaviors across the elementary, middle, and high school years. In a sample of 1,906 youth measured over 5 years at nine time points, from the past year of elementary school through the second year of high school, binge eating, purging (self-induced vomiting), compensatory exercise, and fasting behavior were assessed by self-report. Over the 5-year period, rates of binge eating and purging increased but rates of compensatory exercise and fasting decreased. Girls and boys did not differ in their rates of engagement in any of the behaviors. Within time, the behaviors covaried modestly. Health-care professionals are advised to assess each behavior individually, rather than base interventions on the presence or absence of a diagnosable eating disorder. Gender should not be a basis for assessing for the presence of any of these behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-412
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017.


  • adolescents
  • developmental perspectives
  • eating disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Occurrence and Covariation of Binge Eating and Compensatory Behaviors Across Early to Mid-Adolescence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this