College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education
University of Northern Colorado
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University of Northern Colorado
Zwetzig, Sarah. Drunkorexia and Gender Role Conformity. Published Doctor of Philosophy dissertation, University of Northern Colorado, 2020. Drunkorexia, a behavior involving binge drinking and compensatory eating or dieting behaviors, has been found in approximately 15-39% of college-aged individuals (Burke, Cremeens, & Vail-Smith, 2010; Giles, Champion, Sutfin, McCoy, & Wagoner, 2009; Roosen & Mills, 2015). Its prevalence, along with increased risk of negative consequences, make drunkorexia a particularly risky behavior (Giles et al., 2009). The current study examined the relationship and predictive power of gender role conformity, both feminine (as measured by the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory-45 [Parent & Moradi, 2010]) and masculine (as measured by the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory-46 [Parent & Moradi, 2009]), alcohol use (as measured by the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test [Saunders, Aasland, Babor, de la Fuente, & Grant, 1993]), and disordered eating (as measured by the Eating Attitudes Test-26 [Garner & Garfinkel, 1979]) on the level of drunkorexia (as measured by the Compensatory Eating and Behaviors in Response to Alcohol Consumption Scale [Rahal, Bryant, Darkes, Menzel, & Thompson, 2012]). This study also examined the differences in gender role conformity amongst those who engage in drunkorexia and those who do not. All significance was compared to a standard α=.05 level. Survey results from a total of 307 undergraduate students, 103 of which engaged in drunkorexia, showed no significant correlation between drunkorexia and masculine gender role conformity for males (r= -.047, p=.845)) or females (r=-.050, p=.657). Results also showed no significant correlation between drunkorexia and feminine gender role conformity for males (r= -.246, p=.296) or females (r= .180, p= .107). Feminine gender role conformity was significantly related to the Diet and Exercise subscale of the drunkorexia measure (r(80)=.289, p< .01), although the correlation was small. After controlling for gender, a hierarchical regression analysis showed that alcohol use, disordered eating, and both feminine and masculine gender role conformity (entered at Step 2 of the analysis) significantly predicted total level of drunkorexia (R2 = .295, p < .001). Alcohol use was the only significant variable in this model after a Bonferroni correction, accounting for the most unique variance in level of drunkorexia (ΔR2 = .227, p < .001). A post hoc hierarchical regression analysis showed that feminine gender role conformity, disordered eating, and alcohol use (entered at Step 1 in the analysis) significantly predicted scores on the Diet and Exercise subscale of the drunkorexia measure (R2 = .196, p < .001), with alcohol use again accounting for the most unique variance (ΔR2 = .066, p = .012). After the Bonferroni correction, disordered eating did not remain a significant variable in the post hoc analyses. Analyses of covariance showed there was not a statistically significant difference in either masculine (p = .065) or feminine (p = .086) gender role conformity between those who engage in drunkorexia and those who do not. Results indicate alcohol use is an important factor to consider when treating drunkorexia, and feminine gender role conformity may be an important factor for some females who engage in drunkorexia. This study highlighted the need for screening of disordered eating and alcohol use, particularly with emerging adults, and findings suggest there may be a connection between engaging in dieting and exercise and engagement in drunkorexia. Continued research on drunkorexia, particularly around measurement and theory of the behavior, are important future directions to consider.
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