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Eat Disord. 2013;21(2):154-74. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2013.761089.

Insecure attachment and disordered eating in women: the mediating processes of social comparison and emotion dysregulation.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, RMIT University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.


Few studies have examined potential intermediary processes linking insecure attachment with eating disorders. The purpose of this study was to compare the relative contributions of social comparison and emotion dysregulation on disordered eating symptoms within an attachment framework. Participants were 247 women living in Australia, aged between 18 and 35 years. All the study variables were moderately, positively correlated. Disordered eating was most highly correlated with emotion dysregulation, whilst correlation magnitudes with both attachment styles were comparable. Multiple mediation analysis was performed using bootstrapping procedures. Consistent with hypotheses, the mediating roles of social comparison and emotion dysregulation were supported, suggesting they may be processes through which insecure attachment influences disordered eating. Results highlight the need for intervention to focus not only on eating symptomatology, but also on the ways in which eating disorders are maintained through maladaptive self-regulatory and comparison processes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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