Mediators between perfectionism and eating disorder psychopathology: Shape and weight overvaluation and conditional goal-setting


  • Parts of the article have been presented at the seventh Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders Conference, Brisbane 2009, and the Australian Association for Cognitive and behavior Therapy Conference, Perth 2009.



To examine mediators of the relationship between perfectionism and eating disorder (ED) psychopathology in a clinical sample.


Participants were 201 women with a DSM-IV diagnosed ED consecutively referred to a specialist outpatient treatment clinic. Participants completed measures of perfectionism, ED psychopathology, shape and weight overvaluation, and conditional goal-setting (CGS).


Evaluation of a multivariate mediator model using Baron and Kenny's (1986) four-step mediation methodology showed that shape and weight overvaluation and CGS significantly and uniquely mediated the relation between self-oriented perfectionism (SOP) and restraint, eating concern, shape concern, and weight concern. The mediator model furthered the proportion of explained variance in outcomes beyond the direct effects model by 28–49%.


The findings support the conclusion that the relationship between SOP and ED psychopathology in women with a clinically diagnosed ED is mediated by shape and weight overvaluation and CGS. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.