The mediating role of appearance comparisons on the relationship between negative appearance commentary and binge eating symptoms
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While the frequency of weight-based teasing during childhood/adolescence has been linked to eating disturbance, limited research has examined the impact of negative appearance commentary experienced in young adulthood. Appearance comparisons have been shown to mediate the relationship between weight-based teasing frequency in childhood/adolescence and eating disturbance; however, less is known about the impact of other forms of negative appearance commentary and binge eating symptoms. The current study examined appearance comparisons to others as a mediator of the relationship between the impact of negative appearance commentary from interpersonal sources and binge eating symptoms in college women. Three hundred and seventeen young adult women from universities in the southwest and midsouth U.S. completed measures of appearance-related commentary, physical appearance comparisons, and binge eating symptoms. Controlling for body mass index, the mediation effect of appearance comparisons was tested using the PROCESS macro for SPSS. Appearance comparisons was a significant mediator of the relationship between the impact of negative appearance comments and binge eating symptoms, F(3,312)=40.256, p<0.001, R2=0.279. There was no direct effect of the impact of negative appearance comments on binge eating symptoms. Study findings indicate that appearance comparisons play a role in the extent to which the impact of negative appearance commentary influences binge eating symptoms. Results also suggest the need to address the impact of negative appearance commentary and appearance comparisons simultaneously in interventions for eating disorder psychopathology among college women.
author list (cited authors)
Herbozo, S., Stevens, S. D., & Thurston, I. B.