Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


Clinical Psychology



First Advisor

W. Grant Willis


This dissertation first provides the current conceptualization of the most common Eating Disorders (EDs) as well as other disordered eating conditions currently recognized within the research community. The current literature regarding the epidemiology, risk factors, existing evidence of indicators of overlap, and commonalities in treatment and prevention efforts among these disorders is identified. Researchers have mentioned the concept of a continuum of eating disordered behaviors or a spectrum of eating pathology, either using it in a paper title or within a research paper, yet few have conducted statistical analyses to illustrate that these concepts have more than face validity. This study used factor analysis (FA) to identify whether the current diagnostic schema is the best method for diagnosis of EDs. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA & CFA) as well as other descriptive statistics identified movement among disorders as well as overlap in symptomology. These results support the possibility that a dimensional model might be better suited for ED diagnosis.

Available for download on Saturday, April 17, 2021