Stress situation reveals an association between perfectionism and drive for thinness
Article first published online: 25 JUL 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 220–226, September 2003
How to Cite
Ruggiero, G. M., Levi, D., Ciuna, A. and Sassaroli, S. (2003), Stress situation reveals an association between perfectionism and drive for thinness. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 34: 220–226. doi: 10.1002/eat.10191
- Issue published online: 25 JUL 2003
- Article first published online: 25 JUL 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 JUN 2002
- drive for thinness;
- body dissatisfaction
Several theorists have hypothesized that stress situations may trigger abnormal eating and even eating disorders in individuals with a perfectionistic personality. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a stress situation would reveal an association between perfectionism and measures of eating disorders among female high school students.
A sample of 42 female high school students completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale and the Eating Disorder Inventory three times: on an average school day, on the day of an examination, and on the day they received the evaluation of the examination. Linear regression analysis was calculated to verify whether the dimensions of perfectionism were associated with the measures of eating disorders.
Body Dissatisfaction was associated with perfectionism on all the three occasions, whereas Drive for Thinness was associated with perfectionism only on the day the students received the results of the examination.
The results suggest that among nonclinical female individuals, stress may make significant a previously absent association between perfectionism and an actual desire or plan to lose weight. Such a finding suggests that stress may stimulate behaviors related to eating disorders in individuals with a perfectionistic personality. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 220–226, 2003.