While previous studies have tested the mediating or moderating effects of select factors on disordered eating pathologies, no empirical studies have examined a moderated mediation model. Thus, filling a gap in the literature base, the current study examined a moderated mediation model to test the associations among disordered eating, depressive symptoms, alcohol use, and suicidality. The current study sample included 1,598 students (mean age 21.3 years; 80.9% female) across major universities in the United States. Results showed that disordered eating was significantly associated with suicidality, and the association was mediated by depressive symptoms. Further, the indirect effect of disordered eating via depressive symptoms varied in magnitude as a function of alcohol use. Findings suggest that clinical mental health counselors and other providers working with emerging adults should be vigilant in recognizing behaviors and thoughts associated with disordered eating and related signs and symptoms, including depressive symptoms and alcohol use.

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