Binge-Eating Symptoms, Emotional-Behavioral Problems and Gender Differences among Adolescents: A Brief Report

Cecilia Serena Pace, Stefania Muzi


We investigated relationships between binge-eating symptoms and emotional-behavioral problems in 382 community-adolescents (aged 13‑18 years, M = 15, SD = 1; 61% girls), analyzing gender differences. Few studies have investigated binge eating in community-adolescents and none have explored gender differences in Italy. Participants completed the Binge Eating Scale (BES) and the Youth Self Report (YSR 11/18), which measures internalizing, externalizing and other problems (e.g. binge-drinking, substance abuse). 6% of adolescents (99% girls) were at-risk of binge-eating symptoms. In both gender, binge-eating symptoms were correlated with internalizing and other problems (all p <.001), but unexpectedly they were correlated with externalizing problems only in girls. The set of internalizing, externalizing and other problems predicted 23% of variance in BES among girls; only other problems predicted 12% of variance in BES among boys. Results identified gender-specific and non-specific risk factors for binge eating in Italian community-adolescents, that should be further investigated.


Binge eating; Adolescence; Emotional-behavioral problems; Gender differences.

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