Factors believed to contribute to the development of bulimia are biological, psychological, and socio-cultural. People who develop bulimia are more likely to come from families with a history of eating disorders and other mental health problems.
Psychologically there are some characteristics that individuals with bulimia share: perfectionism, problems controlling emotions, impulsivity, self-destructiveness, very low self-esteem, avoiding conflict, and fear of abandonment.
Our Western society’s standard of beauty idealizes unrealistically thin body images for women. Young women take on these unrealistic ideas of the perfect body, leading to dissatisfaction with their body. For some this can lead to both extreme dieting and bulimia. The pattern is similar for young men.