Attitudes Towards Emotional Expression Mediate the Relationship Between Childhood Invalidation and Adult Eating Concern
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
European Eating Disorders Review
Special Issue: Emotions in Eating Disorders
Volume 20, Issue 6, pages 510–514, November 2012
How to Cite
Haslam, M., Arcelus, J., Farrow, C. and Meyer, C. (2012), Attitudes Towards Emotional Expression Mediate the Relationship Between Childhood Invalidation and Adult Eating Concern. Eur. Eat. Disorders Rev., 20: 510–514. doi: 10.1002/erv.2198
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2012
- invalidating childhood environment;
- attitude towards emotional expression;
Previous research has suggested that invalidating childhood environments are positively related to the symptoms of eating disorders. However, it is unclear how childhood environments might impact upon the development of eating disorder symptoms. This study examined the relationship between parental invalidation and eating disorder-related attitudes in a nonclinical sample and tested the mediating effect of attitudes towards emotional expression. Two hundred women, with a mean age of 21 years, completed measures of invalidating childhood environments, attitudes towards emotional expression, and eating pathology. Eating concerns were positively associated with recollections of an invalidating parental environment. The belief that the expression of emotions is a sign of weakness fully mediated the relationship between childhood maternal invalidation and adult eating concern. Following replication and extension to a clinical sample, these results suggest that targeting the individual's attitude towards emotional expression might reduce eating attitudes among women who have experienced an invalidating childhood environment. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.