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Eat Behav. 2016 Dec;23:131-136. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.09.004. Epub 2016 Sep 14.

Perfectionism, emotion dysregulation, and affective disturbance in relation to clinical impairment in college-age women at high risk for or with eating disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States. Electronic address: byrne.meghan.e@gmail.com.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States; Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA, United States.

Abstract

Individuals with eating disorders (EDs) demonstrate impaired quality of life; however, less than one-third report severe clinical impairment. Thus, it is important to determine factors that may identify those who are most likely to report marked impairment. Perfectionism, emotion dysregulation, and aspects of affective disturbance, such as anxiety and depression, are independently associated with eating pathology and clinical impairment in eating and other disorders. However, little research has explored these three factors concurrently in relation to eating pathology. It is possible that the combined interaction effect of these constructs could be especially harmful. The current study examined the influence of these constructs and their interactions on clinical impairment in college-aged women at high risk for or with a DSM-5 clinical or subclinical ED. Although the three-way interaction of perfectionism, emotion dysregulation, and affective disturbance (i.e., anxiety or depression) was not significant, the two-way interaction between perfectionism and emotion dysregulation was significant such that those who were high in both perfectionism and emotion dysregulation reported the highest levels of clinical impairment. This suggests that the combination of perfectionism and emotion dysregulation may be especially problematic for those with or at high risk for EDs. Interestingly, perfectionism alone was not a predictor of clinical impairment when accounting for the other constructs, implying that perfectionism may have a greater impact when in conjunction with emotion dysregulation. Understanding the impact of combined perfectionistic tendencies and emotion dysregulation on clinical impairment may better inform treatment and more directly target contributors to impaired quality of life.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Clinical impairment; Depression; Eating disorders; Emotion regulation; Perfectionism

PMID:
27673706
PMCID:
PMC5124520
DOI:
10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.09.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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