Disordered eating and psychological help-seeking: The role of perceptions of need
Although there has been a substantial amount of research done to examine general psychological help seeking, very little of this research has focused on disordered eating. Additionally, most research about disordered eating is conducted with women who are already seeking help. The present study examines the impact of a woman's perceived need on her willingness to seek help. Participants are 249 women at a large Upper Midwestern University who have reported mild to moderate eating issues. Multiple hierarchical regression and binary logistic regression were used to test moderation hypotheses on three measures of help-seeking (attitudes, desire to view online information about disordered eating, desire to schedule a counseling appointment). Moderation hypotheses were not supported, however results indicate that general psychological distress, perceived drawbacks to the disorder, and perceived functional avoidance did contribute to some models. Discussion emphasizes the need for a larger sample size, more research with participants who have disordered eating but are not yet in counseling, and importance of mean differences and correlations.