Date of Award

Summer 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Lindsey Cohen

Second Advisor

Laura McKee

Third Advisor

Erin Tully

Fourth Advisor

Sheethal Reddy


As rates of severe pediatric obesity have increased, bariatric surgery has become more common in adolescents. Disordered eating symptoms may interfere with an adolescent’s ability to effectively adhere to dietary requirements and hinder weight loss. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations between household food insecurity, depression, and disordered eating in a sample of adolescents seeking bariatric surgery. Participants (N = 73) were adolescents presenting to the pre-surgical psychological evaluation. Household food insecurity was not related to disordered eating or any disordered eating subscales but was significantly higher in Black households compared to White households. Depression was associated with total disordered eating and subscales binge/loss of control eating and emotional eating. Depression and disordered eating, particularly binge/loss of control eating and emotional eating, may be potential treatment targets for adolescents seeking bariatric surgery. Findings also highlight the importance of screening for household food insecurity in this high-risk population.


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