Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
There is an overrepresentation of gay men seeking treatment for eating disorders. This study investigated several factors that were thought to possibly impact the prevalence rates of gay men seeking treatment for eating disorders. The current study investigated the influence that gender role conflict, attitudes towards help seeking, symptom recognition, and media influence have on the prevalence of eating disorders. Nationwide participant recruitment was utilized to gather a sample that consisted of 86 heterosexual men and 75 gay men. Multivariate and univariate analyses of variance were utilized to examine the differences between gay and heterosexual men on the factors of interest. A significant difference was not found between gay and heterosexual men related to gender role conflict or media influence. However, a significant difference was found between heterosexual and gay men on measures of attitudes towards help seeking and symptom recognition. The results support that gender role conflict may have a limited role in the development of eating disorders in gay men and that mental health prevention and awareness within the gay community may be having a positive impact. Implications for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders are discussed as well as directions for future research.
Copyright 2008 Catherine Do Jackson