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Open Access

A longitudinal examination of the interpersonal model of binge eating in australian adolescents

  • Charlotte Lewis1,
  • Isabel Krug1Email author,
  • Francis Puccio1,
  • Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz2,
  • Primrose Letcher1,
  • Ross King2 and
  • Craig Olsson2
Journal of Eating Disorders20153(Suppl 1):O58

Published: 23 November 2015


Public HealthEquation ModellingHealth PromotionDisease PreventionStructural Equation


To use a large Australian adolescent sample to test the original interpersonal model of binge eating longitudinally and a new version of the model in which bulimic behaviour leads to depression, which in turn leads to interpersonal problems.


Participants in the current study were part of the Australian Temperament Project. Participants were 1453 (702 females) adolescents and were assessed across five time points: 11-12 years (T1), 13-14 (T2), 15-16 (T3), 17-18 (T4), 19-20 (T5). Interpersonal problems were drawn from parent and self-reported questionnaires at T1 and T5. Data on depression was taken from self-reports at T2 and T4 and data on bulimic behaviour was taken from self-report at T3.


Structural equation modelling was used to examine both models. The original interpersonal model had acceptable fit, χ2 (df=4, N=1453)= 8.275, p= .082, CFI= .99, RMSEA= .03, SRMR= .01. The new version of the model also had acceptable fit, χ2 (df=1, N=1453)= 10.170, p < .001, CFI= .99, RMSEA=.08, SRMR= 0.02. Depression mediated the relationship between interpersonal problems and bulimic behaviour in both models.


The results provide longitudinal support for the interpersonal model of binge eating and initial evidence for a new version of the model, offering important insights into the role of interpersonal problems in the development and maintenance of bulimic pathology.

Authors’ Affiliations

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia


© Lewis et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.