Binge eating behavior is a public health concern with serious physical and mental health consequences. Certain personality traits have been found to contribute to the development of eating disorders in clinical samples of youth, but little is known about associations between personality traits and binge eating in the general adolescent population. We examined the associations of neuroticism and impulsivity - both independently and in combination - with lifetime prevalence of binge eating, using nationally representative, cross-sectional data from the National Comorbidity Survey: Adolescent Supplement (n = 437). Neuroticism and impulsivity were each significantly associated with lifetime prevalence of binge eating (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 1.11, confidence interval [CI] = 1.07, 1.15, p < 0.001; aPR = 1.06, CI = 1.04, 1.09, p < 0.001, respectively). The combination of high neuroticism and high impulsivity was associated with higher lifetime binge eating than the combination of low neuroticism and low impulsivity (aPR = 3.72, CI = 2.45, 5.65, p < 0.001), and this association was stronger for female than male adolescents (females: aPR = 5.37, CI = 3.24, 8.91, p < 0.001 vs. males: aPR = 2.45, CI = 1.43, 4.22, p = 0.002). Our findings have implications for informing theories of etiology and interventions to target binge eating behaviors.
- Binge eating
- Personality traits
- Psychiatric epidemiology
- The National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement
ASJC Scopus subject areas