Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 81–84 | Cite as

Stress-Induced Binge Eating: A Behavior Analytic Approach to Assessment and Intervention

  • Michael J. Cameron
  • Russell W. Maguire
  • Jennifer McCormack


Responses to acute or chronic stress may include behaviors, such as alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and altered eating patterns. In connection with the stress-eating relation, some researchers have suggested that certain stressors (e.g., psychological or emotional) may influence the direction (i.e., increase or decrease) of a person’s eating response. In a recent study, Connors and Morse (Int J Eat Disord 13:1–11, 2006) indicated that the physical and psychological stress associated with sexual trauma could result in an increase in food intake and nonstandard eating patterns. In consequence, this study describes a multifaceted intervention for a 24-year-old woman who experienced chronic stress and received a diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. DSM-IV. Washington, DC: APA) following a series of unwanted sexual experiences. The behavior analytic intervention emphasized self-control, self-regulation, and physical activity. The treatment package resulted in a 19% reduction in the participant’s body weight, a 96% reduction in binge eating, and long-term adherence to an exercise routine.


Stress-induced binge eating Binge-eating disorder Behavioral intervention Non-standard eating 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Cameron
    • 1
  • Russell W. Maguire
    • 1
  • Jennifer McCormack
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavior AnalysisSimmons CollegeBostonUK

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