Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 100 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Drew Anderson

Committee Members

Julia Hormes, James Boswell


Bulimia nervosa, Eating disorder, Metacognitive, Rumination, Undergraduate, Women, Bulimia, Depression in women, Eating disorders in women, Women college students, Rumination (Psychology), Metacognition

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Rumination, a passive, perseverative, self-focused style of thinking about negative emotions and events, is a cognitive factor that has been empirically linked to a variety of harmful outcomes, particularly negative affect and depression. Recently, rumination has been proposed as a transdiagnostic risk factor that predicts numerous mental health conditions, including eating disorders. Taking into consideration the potential harm of rumination, researchers have sought to explain why individuals continue to ruminate. Metacognitive theories posit that negative and positive beliefs about rumination influence how frequently an individual ruminates and the consequences of repetitive, negative thinking. However, there is a dearth of evidence linking rumination and metacognitive beliefs to specific symptoms of eating disorders, such as binge eating and purging. The present study sought to examine the links between cognitive and metacognitive processes and bulimic symptoms, including how these variables relate in daily life. Individuals who endorsed bulimic symptoms showed higher levels of rumination and metacognitive beliefs about rumination (negative and positive). Rumination was found to partially mediate the relationship between beliefs about rumination (positive and negative) and bulimic symptoms. Daily (within-person) rumination tendency, daily negative affect, and baseline negative beliefs about rumination were found to significantly predict daily bulimic symptoms. These results provide further support for the application of metacognitive theory to eating pathology. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.