12. Emotions and Eating Disorders

  1. John R. E. Fox3 and
  2. Ken P. Goss4
  1. John R. E. Fox3,
  2. Anita Federici1 and
  3. Mick J. Power2

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118328910.ch12

Eating and its Disorders

Eating and its Disorders

How to Cite

Fox, J. R. E., Federici, A. and Power, M. J. (2012) Emotions and Eating Disorders, in Eating and its Disorders (eds J. R. E. Fox and K. P. Goss), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118328910.ch12

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester, UK

  2. 4

    Coventry Eating Disorders Service, United Kingdom

Author Information

  1. 1

    Credit Valley Hospital, Ontario, Canada

  2. 2

    University of Edinburgh, UK

  3. 3

    Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 9 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470683545

Online ISBN: 9781118328910



  • anger;
  • disgust;
  • eating disorders (EDs);
  • emotional processes;
  • fear;
  • psychological needs;
  • SPAARS model


This chapter considers the importance of understanding emotions and emotional functioning in eating disorders (EDs). It provides an outline of the theoretical perspectives on normal emotional functioning. The chapter focuses on two levels of emotional processing, and how they apply to EDs. The first section considers the primary level of emotional processing. This section draws heavily from the schematic, propositional, analogical and associative representational systems (SPAARS) model of emotion and self-determination theory of core psychological needs. The second section discusses the secondary level of processing emotion, as it considers what research and theory propose about how people with EDs relate to their own emotions and expressions. This section draws from theoretical perspectives of the SPAARS model, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and emotion-focused therapy (EFT). The chapter finally considers the overarching themes across these models and how they link to therapeutic models that focus on emotions in the treatment of EDs.