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13-11-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 12/2019

Mindfulness 12/2019

Self-Compassion and Eating Pathology in Female Adolescents with Eating Disorders: The Mediating Role of Psychological Distress

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 12/2019
Auteurs:
Rachelle Pullmer, Shannon L. Zaitsoff, Jennifer S. Coelho
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Abstract

Objectives

A burgeoning literature demonstrates that self-compassion has widespread implications for numerous mental health problems, with recent research highlighting the role of self-compassion in body dissatisfaction and eating pathology. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relations between self-compassion, psychological distress, and eating pathology in a clinical sample of female adolescents. In addition, this study examined whether psychological distress emerged as a cross-sectional mediator of the relation between self-compassion and eating pathology.

Methods

Fifty-eight female adolescents with eating disorders (Mage = 15.45; SD = 1.49) completed the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), Hopkins Symptom Checklist (SCL-5), and Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire - Adolescent Version (EDE-Q).

Results

The SCS positive items (referred to as self-compassion) were negatively associated with psychological distress and eating pathology. The SCS negative items (referred to as self-criticism) were positively associated with psychological distress and eating pathology (all ps < .001). Notably, psychological distress mediated the link between self-compassion and eating pathology (ab = − 0.39, 95% percentile bootstrap confidence interval (PB CI): −0.78 to −0.09). Psychological distress also mediated the relation between self-criticism and eating pathology (ab = 0.30, 95% PB CI: 0.05 to 0.68).

Conclusions

This study supports the notion that interventions focused on increasing self-compassion and decreasing psychological distress may have important implications for eating disorder recovery in youth.

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