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Eat Behav. 2012 Dec;13(4):347-53. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2012.05.011. Epub 2012 Jun 9.

Disordered eating, perfectionism, and food rules.

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Emory University Psychological Center, 36 Eagle Row, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Clinically significant trait perfectionism is often characteristic of individuals exhibiting symptoms of eating disorders. The present study reports on a measure developed to assess the use of food rules and evaluates the hypothesis that adherence to food rules may be one mechanism through which trait perfectionism exacerbates risk for developing eating disorder symptoms. Forty-eight female college students completed a battery of questionnaires, and multiple regression analyses were used to test a mediational model. Results indicated that adherence to food rules mediated the relationship between self-oriented perfectionism and three indices of disordered eating in this sample. This relationship was specific to self-oriented perfectionism and did not hold for other-oriented or socially prescribed perfectionism. These findings may have implications for designing early interventions for disordered eating and may be useful in tailoring treatment for individuals with disordered eating who also report high levels of perfectionism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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