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Appetite. 2005 Dec;45(3):205-13. Epub 2005 Oct 20.

The Stice model of overeating: tests in clinical and non-clinical samples.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology and the Institute for Gender Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The present study tested the dual pathway model of Stice [. A review of the evidence for a sociocultural model of bulimia nervosa and an exploration of the mechanisms of action. Clinical Psychology Review, 14, 633-661 and . A prospective test of the dual-pathway model of bulimic pathology: mediating effects of dieting and negative affect. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 124-135.] in a non-clinical sample of female adolescents and a clinical sample of female eating disorder patients. The model assumes that negative affect and restrained eating mediates the link between body dissatisfaction and overeating. We also tested an extended version of the model postulating that negative affect and overeating are not directly related, but indirectly through lack of interoceptive awareness and emotional eating. Structural equation modelling was used to test our models. First, in the two samples, body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness were associated with overeating/binge eating. In both clinical and adolescent sample, we found support for the negative affect pathway and not for the restraint pathway. Lack of interoceptive awareness and emotional eating appear to (partly) explain the association between negative affect and overeating. Emotional eating was much more strongly associated with overeating in the clinical than in the adolescent sample. In sum, we found substantial evidence for the negative affect pathway in the dual pathway model. The link between body dissatisfaction and overeating in this respect might be explained by the fact that negative affect, due to body dissatisfaction, is related to a lack of awareness of personal feelings and to eating when dealing with negative emotions, which on its turn is associated with overeating.

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