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01-10-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2013

Cognitive Therapy and Research 5/2013

Anxiety, Appearance Contingent Self-Worth, and Appearance Conversations with Friends in Relation to Disordered Eating: Examining Moderator Models

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 5/2013
Anna M. Bardone-Cone, Lisa M. Brownstone, Mary K. Higgins, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, Megan B. Harney


This study examined whether anxiety, combined with a focus on appearance, would identify individuals most likely to exhibit eating pathology, conceptualized as safety behaviors/avoidance strategies. In particular, we examined appearance contingent self-worth and appearance conversations with friends as possible moderators of the anxiety-disordered eating relation. Participants were 441 women attending a Southeastern university who completed an online survey. Results indicated that those with the three-way combination of high anxiety, high appearance contingent self-worth, and frequent appearance conversations exhibited the most frequent binge eating. While no significant three-way interactions emerged for broad eating pathology and dietary restraint, in both models it was the anxiety × appearance contingent self-worth interaction that accounted for unique variance in these eating patterns. Results provide researchers and clinicians with a better understanding of who experiences various types of disordered eating in association with anxiety and possible points of intervention.

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