Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure: None of the authors have commercial or industry support or a conflict of interest.
Version of Record online: 19 NOV 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 44, Issue 8, pages 716–720, December 2011
How to Cite
Weisbuch, M., Ambady, N., Slepian, M. L. and Jimerson, D. C. (2011), Emotion contagion moderates the relationship between emotionally-negative families and abnormal eating behavior. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 44: 716–720. doi: 10.1002/eat.20873
Components of this data were presented at the 15th annual meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society (in 2009).
- Issue online: 9 NOV 2011
- Version of Record online: 19 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUL 2010
- NIH. Grant Number: 5F32MH078350-03
- NSF. Grant Number: BCS-0435547
- Bernice S. Weisman
- emotion contagion;
- social cognition;
- family expressiveness
To reconcile empirical inconsistencies in the relationship between emotionally-negative families and daughters' abnormal eating, we hypothesized a critical moderating variable: daughters' vulnerability to emotion contagion.
A nonclinical sample of undergraduate females (N = 92) was recruited via an advertisement and completed self-report measures validated for assessing: families' expressive negativity, daughters' susceptibility to emotion contagion, dietary restraint, and disinhibition, eating attitudes, and several control variables (interpersonal orientation, alexithymia, and the big five personality traits: extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, neuroticism, and agreeableness).
All variables and interactions were entered as predictors in a multistep multiple regression equation. Only an emotion contagion by family expressivity interaction term significantly predicted unhealthy eating attitudes (β = .29, p = .02) and dietary restraint (β = .27, p = .03). Negatively expressive families significantly induced unhealthy eating and restraint but only among young women susceptible to emotion contagion (ps < .05).
Young women susceptible to emotion contagion may be at increased risk for eating disorders. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2010)