Social resources and social function in comorbid eating and substance disorder: A matched-pairs study

Joseph Westermeyer, Sheila Specker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess social resources and function among patients with comorbid Eating Disorder (ED) and substance abuse/dependence, referred to here as Substance Related Disorder (SRD). Design: Descriptive, cross- sectional, comparative. Settings: A university medical center with an Alcohol-Drug Program located within a Department of Psychiatry. Subjects: 70 patients with Substance Related Disorder and Eating Disorder (SRD-ED), matched for gender, age, and race-ethnicity with 70 SRD-only patients. Methods: A research associate assessed current social resources and social function based on data obtained from patients and collateral sources while blind to the ED status of the patient. Addiction psychiatrists made the diagnoses of SRD and ED and conducted assessments for axis 4 psychosocial stressors and axis 5 psychosocial function. Results: SRD-ED patients had more advantageous social resources than SRD-only patients, including residence with family or friends, more education, higher socioeconomic status, and larger social networks. However, SRD-ED patients manifested martial status, employment, stressors, and coping levels similar to SRD-only patients. Conclusions: Several alternative explanations exist for these expected though unusual findings. Further analyses will be required to understand this lack of articulation between social resources and social function across two diagnostic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-336
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1999


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