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The role of body image flexibility in the relationship between disordered eating cognitions and disordered eating symptoms among non-clinical college students
Eating Behaviors
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2012
Pages: 240 - 245
Source ID: shanti-sources-108616
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: A growing body of evidence suggests that rigid and inflexible regulation and coping are at the core of psychopathology, including disordered eating (DE) problems. Employing two cross-sectional studies, the present paper investigated whether body image flexibility (BIF), a specific type of psychological flexibility, mediates the relations between DE cognitions and overall DE pathology.METHOD: Ethnically diverse non-clinical college undergraduates (Study 1 N=208; Study 2 N=178) completed an anonymous online survey. RESULTS: BIF was found to partially mediate the relationship between DE cognitions and overall DE pathology after controlling for gender and body mass index (BMI). DISCUSSION: Our findings suggest that the link between DE cognitions and overall DE pathology is established in part through an inflexible and avoidant coping style specific to negative body image. Clinical implications include targeting BIF as a mechanism of change and treating DE pathology with acceptance- and mindfulness-based behavioral interventions.