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The objective of this research was to evaluate how perceived stressful conditions (PSC) and perceived non-stressful conditions (PNSC) influence eating and dressing behaviors of Chinese females. Chinese female university students (18–30 years) residing in the United States, completed a validated and reliable 45-itemized Chinese Stress Eating and Dressing Survey (CSEDS). The CSEDS included: (i) effort to control making healthy eating choices and dressing, (ii) foods eaten and dress items selected during PSC, (iii) foods eaten and dress items selected during PNSC, and (iv) demographics. Seven comfort food categories and eight appearance categories were used. The CSEDS included multiple choice, yes/no, and Likert scale questions. Statistical analyses were performed using t tests. A total of 129 females completed the CSEDS. Mean body mass index (BMI) calculated from reported heights and weights was 20.86 ± 3.86. From PNSC to PSC, there were significant decreases in all dressing patterns (p < .028), and the majority of the participants reported dressing casually during PSC (78.3%). Overall, there was a decrease in the types of foods eaten during PNSC to PSC, but significance was noted for common foods (e.g., Chinese, Other Asian, Italian, American, and Mexican; p = .033), mixed dishes (e.g., casseroles, soy and vegetable based dishes, meat entrees, and salads; p = .018), and soft foods (e.g., rice, noodles, bread, dumplings, and eggs; p = .003). During PSC, Chinese females tended to select a limited variety of foods, forgo appearance enhancement items, and dress casually suggesting that ethnic groups vary in eating and dressing behaviors. Findings from this research contribute to the body of knowledge related to stress and its influence on appearance (eating and dressing) behaviors specifically of Chinese female university students when transitioning from one country to another


This article was originally published in Fashion and Textiles, available at

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