The relationship between perfectionism, aversive self-awareness, negative affect and binge eating : an application of escape theory to binge eating (2003)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Heatherton and Baumeister (1991) proposed that binge eating is a motivated attempt to escape from negative affect arising from negative self-evaluation against unrealistically high standards. Binge eaters initially respond to negative affect by narrowing attention to the immediate stimulus environment thereby precluding meaningful thought. Normal inhibitions against eating are then eroded and binge eating occurs. This thesis examined escape theory applied to binge eating in a non-clinical, community and student sample. One hundred and twenty nine women completed questionnaires assessing dietary restraint, binge eating, perfectionism, aversive self-awareness, negative affect and avoidant coping. Analyses assessed how these constructs differed between bingers and non-bingers. In addition, correlation and hierarchical regression analyses assessed relationships between each of these variables. The results supported escape theory by demonstrating that binge eaters were characterised by higher levels of perfectionism, aversive self-awareness, negative affect and avoidant coping when compared to nonbingers. In addition perfectionism, aversive self-awareness and negative affect were positively correlated with binge eating scores. Consistent with the causal assumptions contained within escape theory, perfectionism and aversive self-awareness were both found to be significant predictors of negative affect, which in tum was a significant predictor of binge eating. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for future research and for the treatment of binge eating.
KeywordsCompulsive eating--Psychological aspects; Escape (Psychology); Perfectionism (Personality trait); Self-perception; Affect (Psychology)
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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