Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory T. Smith


Binge eating is a harmful, maladaptive behavior associated with comorbid psychopathology. Theory posits that increases in maladaptive, transdiagnostic emotions following binge eating in individuals with BN may predict the experience of comorbid symptoms. The current study served as a laboratory test of the first part of this theory: whether state increases in maladaptive emotions occur following engagement in binge eating behavior in women with BN compared with healthy controls. Women (n = 51) were recruited from the community if they met DSM-5 criteria for BN or OSFED BN (of low frequency) (n = 21) or were free of lifetime disordered eating and current psychopathology (n = 30). Participants completed questionnaires assessing eating disorder symptoms (preoccupation with weight and shape, urge to vomit), state shame, and state negative affect before and after consuming a test meal in which they were instructed to binge. Women with BN endorsed significantly greater preoccupation with weight and shape and urge to vomit following test meal consumption compared with controls. Women with BN reported significant increases in state shame, but not state negative affect, following test meal consumption, compared with controls. Results are consistent with a model indicating binge eating precipitates increases in state shame among women with BN. Given shame’s status as a transdiagnostic risk factor, future work should clarify whether state shame following binge eating predicts increases in comorbid symptoms.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health grant F31 MH 114551, the Jesse G. Harris Dissertation Award, and the P.E.O Scholar Award.