Cutting Behavior, Eating Disorders Linked in Some Students: Female Undergraduates

Article excerpt

DENVER -- Cutting behavior is closely associated with bingeing and purging in female college students, Wendy D. Hoyt, Ph.D., reported at an international conference of the Academy for Eating Disorders.

This finding in a large epidemiologic survey is consistent with the notion that intentional cutting behavior and eating disorders represent forms of self-harmful behavior that may serve similar functions, including tension reduction, a purgative function, avoidance of negative situations, and nonverbal expression of emotions, according to Dr. Hoyt of the River Centre Clinic in Sylvania, Ohio.

She mailed a 59-question survey on impulsive behaviors to 4,000 randomly selected undergraduate students at a large public university. The survey was designed to assess comorbidity of three classes of self-harm: cutting behavior, eating disorders, and alcohol/drug use. The questionnaire was completed and returned by 1,206 female and 735 male students.

Twelve percent of female students reported having engaged in deliberate cutting behavior. …