This study aimed to investigate the motivations underlying binge eating and binge drinking behaviors in a sample of adolescents. No known research has been carried out which looks at the motivations for both binge eating and binge drinking together.
Estimates suggest that 9.9 percent of adolescent girls and 3 percent of adolescent boys engage in binge eating. Similarly, binge drinking is prevalent among adolescents as found that 28.8 percent of high-school students reported binge drinking, with similar rates among boys and girls which tended to increase with age and school grade.
Binging behaviors share several overlapping features, such as behavioral characteristics, personality correlates, affective features, and negative consequences. For instance, they are both characterized by concern with the substance (alcohol or food), lack of control of the behavior, excessive consumption of the substance, and immediate gratification followed by long-term harm.
A better understanding of the factors that may drive adolescents to indulge in health-risk behaviors is an issue of primary importance in order to plan and implement more appropriate and effective intervention programs.
This study aimed to investigate the motivations underlying binge eating and binge drinking in a sample of 302 adolescents. Our findings showed that binge eating was significantly correlated with gender, environmental, emotional, and social eating. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that emotional and environmental eating were significant positive predictors of binge eating, whereas binge drinking was significantly correlated with enhancement, social, and coping motives. Only enhancement motives were significant predictors of binge drinking. Our results support the argument that the reasons underlying binge eating and binge drinking in adolescents may be similar and may perform the same function.
Binge eating and binge drinking among adolescents: The role of drinking and eating motives
Sara Pompili, Fiorenzo Laghi
First Published June 8, 2017
Journal of Health Psychology