The relationship between compulsive buying and eating disorders

James E. Mitchell, Jennifer Redlin, Steve Wonderlich, Ross Crosby, Ron Faber, Ray Miltenberger, Joshua Smyth, Marci Stickney, Blake Gosnel, Melissa Burgard, Kathy Lancaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: Compulsive buying has received increased research attention in the last decade. The disorder has high rates of comorbidity for other disorders, including eating disorders. This study explored the possible relationship between compulsive buying and eating disorders. Method: Twenty women who scored in the pathological range on a measure of compulsive buying and 20 controls were recruited via the media. Various measures of psychopathology and eating disorder symptoms were administered to both groups. Result: Compulsive buyers were significantly more likely to have a higher lifetime history of substance abuse or dependence. No differences existed between normal controls and compulsive buyers in prevalence of current or lifetime eating disorders, nor were there differences in scores of eating-related psychopathology. Discussion: This work failed to demonstrate an increased risk for eating disorders in compulsive buyers, although a higher rate of substance dependence or abuse and higher scores on pathological personality dimension scales were seen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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