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The role of anxiety in binge eating behavior: a critical examination of theory and empirical literature

Diane L. Rosenbaum, Kamila S. White
  • Diane L. Rosenbaum
    Department of Psychology, University of Missouri - Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO, United States |
  • Kamila S. White
    Department of Psychology, University of Missouri - Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO, United States


The purpose of this manuscript is to expand the understanding of binge eating by reviewing the role of aspects of negative affect. Specifically, this paper will present evidence for further investigation of the bearing that anxiety may have in binge eating development and maintenance. A comprehensive review of the literature regarding the relation of binge eating and anxiety was performed. Valuable contributions have been made to the binge eating literature regarding some aspects of negative affect (i.e., depression); however, outside of bulimia nervosa studies, much of the theoretical and empirical binge eating research to date has not directly addressed the role of anxiety. Research supports expansion of investigations of negative emotionality and binge eating to include specific study of anxiety. Greater inclusivity and specificity in the unique contributions of various negative emotions may further the development of temporal models and intervention efforts.


binge eating, binge eating disorder, anxiety, depression, negative affect

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Submitted: 2012-11-30 22:24:17
Published: 2013-06-18 09:24:30
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Copyright (c) 2013 Diane L. Rosenbaum, Kamila S. White

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