The relationship between binge eating, avoidance coping, and depression was investigated with reference to the escape theory of binge eating which predicts binge eaters will exhibit elevated avoidance coping. Undergraduate females were selected into one of three groups: control (nonrestrained/nonbinge eating) (n = 73), restrained (restrained/ nonbinge eating) (n = 61), and binge eating (restrained/binge eating) (n = 15). The groups did not differ on use of avoidance coping. Binge eating scores were significantly correlated with avoidance coping and depression, but hierarchical regression analyses indicated avoidance coping did not significantly add to the prediction of binge eating above the contribution of depression. It is proposed therefore, that it is not appropriate to use findings of elevated avoidance coping in individuals with eating disorder in support of the escape theory.
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