Portions of this article have been presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), November 2007.
Negative reinforcement eating expectancies, emotion dysregulation, and symptoms of bulimia nervosa†
Article first published online: 26 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 42, Issue 6, pages 552–556, September 2009
How to Cite
Hayaki, J. (2009), Negative reinforcement eating expectancies, emotion dysregulation, and symptoms of bulimia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 42: 552–556. doi: 10.1002/eat.20646
- Issue published online: 7 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 26 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 NOV 2008
- Charles and Rosanna Batchelor (Ford) Faculty Fellowship from the College of the Holy Cross
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute (awarded to St. Olaf College)
- NSF. Grant Number: NSF0354308
- emotion regulation;
- eating expectancies;
- bulimia nervosa
Research suggests that emotion dysregulation or difficulties in the modulation of emotional experience constitute risk for eating disorders. Recent work has also highlighted the role of certain eating-related cognitions, specifically expectations of negative emotional reinforcement from eating, in the development of disturbed eating patterns. However, it is unclear whether these expectancies are merely a dimension of a general inability to regulate emotions effectively or rather a unique cognitive-affective risk factor for the development of an eating disorder. This study examines the unique contribution of eating expectancies to symptoms of bulimia nervosa (BN) after controlling for two dimensions of emotion dysregulation (alexithymia and experiential avoidance) previously implicated in the phenomenology of eating disorders.
Participants were 115 undergraduate women who self-reported demographics, alexithymia, experiential avoidance, eating expectancies, and symptoms of BN.
Eating expectancies uniquely contributed 12.4% of the variance in symptoms of BN, F(2, 108) = 11.74, p < .001. The final model was statistically significant, F(6, 108) = 13.62, p < .001, and accounted for 40.0% of the variance in symptoms of BN.
These results suggest that individuals who expect eating to provide emotional relief may be especially susceptible to disordered eating. Findings are discussed in terms of emotional risk models and clinical interventions for BN. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009