Perfectionism, perceived weight status, and self-esteem interact to predict bulimic symptoms: A model of bulimic symptom development

Kathleen D. Vohs, Thomas E. Joiner, Anna M. Bardone, Lyn Y. Abramson, Todd F. Heatherton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations

Abstract

An interactive model of perfectionism, perceived weight status, and self-esteem was tested on 342 female undergraduates to predict bulimic symptoms. Using a longitudinal design, the authors tested the model on data collected at 2 points: the spring of participants' senior year of high school and during participants' first year of college. The authors hypothesized and found that self-esteem moderates the interaction between perfectionism and perceived weight status in predicting bulimic symptoms. Women who are high in perfectionism and who consider themselves overweight exhibit bulimic symptoms only if they have low self-esteem (i.e., if they doubt they can attain their high body standards). High self-esteem women with the same diathesis-stress conditions are less likely to exhibit bulimic symptoms. These findings clarify the role of perfectionism in bulimic symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-700
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume108
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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