Racism-Related Stress, Social Support, Attachment, and Binge Eating in Young Adult Black Women

Kate Elizabeth Terranova, Fordham University


Black women in the United States are disproportionally affected by obesity. Being the target of racism and engaging in binge eating are two factors that have been studied among Black women. It is hypothesized that these factors may contribute to obesity in this population. Research linking social support to negative mental health outcomes indicates that social support mitigates the effects of racism on physical and psychological well-being. Attachment, while less studied, is believed to affect stress and disordered eating. The specific influence of social support and attachment have not been explored in connection to racism and binge eating. This study examined the relationships among racism-related stress, perceived social support, attachment style (anxious and avoidant), and binge eating behaviors in a national sample of 535 women aged 18 to 25 who identified as Black or African American. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships among variables and moderation effects. Findings indicated that anxious attachment moderated the relationship between racism-related stress and binge eating and that racism-related stress, perceived social support, anxious attachment and avoidant attachment significantly predicted binge eating behavior. Results support that racism-related stress influences binge eating in Black women and that attachment style acts as a racism-related stress buffer against binge eating. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Subject Area

Psychology|Womens studies|Black studies

Recommended Citation

Terranova, Kate Elizabeth, "Racism-Related Stress, Social Support, Attachment, and Binge Eating in Young Adult Black Women" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28650835.