Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Katherine Dunham

Second Advisor

Michael Morales

Third Advisor

Jessica Paxton


Enabling behaviors may impair the recovery of individuals with substance use and eating disorders. Participants read one of six vignettes portraying a character with either a substance use disorder or bulimia and were asked how they would react. The effects of several factors, such as gender, knowledge of disorder, disorder type, and enabling behaviors, on the likelihood of specific responses were examined for the most common responses. Some notable results included that females were more likely to intend to provide support. Participants who had higher enabling scores were less likely to tell a professional and were more likely to do nothing. Higher stigma scores were observed for those in the “other” category, which encompassed several less definitive responses. Responses did not vary by character gender, knowledge of disorder, or disorder type. The results point to the need for education and stigma reduction efforts for substance use and eating disorders.