An Experimental Investigation of Verbal Expression of Emotion in Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa
Article first published online: 22 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
European Eating Disorders Review
Special Issue: Emotions in Eating Disorders
Volume 20, Issue 6, pages 476–483, November 2012
How to Cite
Davies, H., Swan, N., Schmidt, U. and Tchanturia, K. (2012), An Experimental Investigation of Verbal Expression of Emotion in Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Eur. Eat. Disorders Rev., 20: 476–483. doi: 10.1002/erv.1157
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 22 SEP 2011
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme. Grant Number: RP-PG-0606-1043
- BIAL foundation. Grant Number: 57/10
- anorexia nervosa;
- bulimia nervosa;
This study aims to use an experimental design to investigate verbal expression of emotion in anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN).
Forty-two patients with AN, 26 patients with BN and 34 healthy controls (HCs) were videoed talking about discrete emotional experiences. Talks were analysed using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count. Participants also completed the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ).
People with AN used fewer words when describing their emotional experiences and fewer positive affect words than HCs. People with BN were indistinguishable from HCs. Both ED groups had higher scores on the suppression subscale of the ERQ compared with HCs. Suppression was negatively correlated with negative verbal expression.
This study highlights differences between AN and BN in emotion expression. It supports a model of AN, which highlights emotion inhibition as a maintaining factor of the illness. Methods of emotion regulation in EDs may contribute to increased negative mood and poorer social functioning. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.