Examining the Relationship Between Binge Eating and Coping Strategies in Adolescents

  • Susana Sierra-Baigrie
  • Serafín Lemos-Giráldez
  • Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero


Binge eating is a highly distressing symptom which is central to the diagnosis of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder (BED) and that has received increasing attention in the last few decades. Numerous studies have analyzed the factors involved in binge eating. Factors such as boredom, body-weight concern, dietary restraint, and low self-esteem have all been identified as possible precursors to binge eating episodes. In addition, the link between coping and binge eating has also been the focus of many investigations. This chapter reviews the literature examining the link between coping and binge eating and describes a study conducted to further explore this relationship in Spanish adolescents as well as examine their concept of binge eating. The results are consistent with previous studies which have shown that binge eating is a fairly frequent behavior in adolescence. The adolescents who reported binge eating used avoidance coping strategies more frequently and positive ones less frequently than those who did not engage in this behavior. On the other hand, adolescents mainly took into account the amount of food eaten when defining a binge with few of them mentioning loss of control in their descriptions. These findings contribute to the advancement in the understanding of this phenomenon, as well as the factors associated with it, in nonclinical populations. In addition, there are implications for the prevention of this behavior in nonclinical adolescents, which can be drawn from the possible link between binge eating and coping. The development of constructive ways to solve daily problems and cope with stressors may be a possible strategy for the prevention of this behavior in adolescents. Future lines of research are also discussed in the chapter


Coping Strategy Eating Disorder Binge Eating Bulimia Nervosa Binge Eating Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



American Psychiatric Association


Adolescent Coping Scale


Binge eating disorder


Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision


Standard deviation



 This study was partially supported by funds from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, grant PSI2008-06220.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susana Sierra-Baigrie
    • 1
  • Serafín Lemos-Giráldez
  • Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain

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