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Keywords:

  • exercise;
  • eating;
  • cognition;
  • behavior;
  • compulsive

Abstract

Objective:

To explore the associations between specific elements of compulsive exercise and both eating-disordered cognitions and eating-disordered behaviors in a nonclinical sample of young women.

Method:

A sample of young women (n = 498) completed self-report measures of eating pathology (The Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire) and a relatively new measure of Compulsive Exercise Test.

Results:

Specific elements of compulsive exercise were associated with elevated levels of eating-disordered cognitions and increased frequency of eating-disordered behaviors.

Discussion:

These results support a multifunctional conceptualization of compulsive exercise, suggesting that some of the functionality of compulsive exercise may be akin to other forms of purging, and further supporting the notion of a possible functional equivalence between compulsive exercise and specific eating-disordered behaviors in terms of affect regulation. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2011