15-06-2022 | Original Article
Effects of Safety Behavior Fading on Bulimic Symptoms and Drive for Thinness
Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research | Uitgave 5/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Conceptualizations of body image-related disorders suggest that targeting safety behaviors (SB) may help reduce eating disorder (ED) symptoms. No consensus exists regarding the mechanism underlying the relationship between SBs and ED symptoms, though one hypothesized construct is overvaluation of appearance.
The aim of the current study is to expand upon existing SB research and evaluate the effects of a technology-based SB fading manipulation on drive for thinness and bulimic symptoms. Further, we sought to test the mechanism of overvaluation of appearance in explaining the effects of SB fading on these outcomes.
Women (n = 84) with elevated appearance concerns completed the present study. Participants were randomized to a SB fading condition or a no instructions control condition. The SB fading group received daily text message reminders to fade SBs for the two-week manipulation period. Questionnaires were completed at baseline, post-manipulation, and two-week follow-up.
SB fading led to greater reductions in bulimic symptoms at post-assessment and drive for thinness at both post-assessment and two-week follow-up, relative to the control condition. Further, changes in appearance overvaluation accounted for the effects of SB fading on changes in bulimic symptoms and drive for thinness.
Results support the role of appearance-related SBs in ED outcomes and the mechanism of overvaluation of appearance in explaining these relationships. SB fading via text message reminders may be an effective transdiagnostic approach to treat eating pathology.