Title

Sexual victimization and disordered eating among community individuals: The influence of negative and positive emotion dysregulation

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

12-1-2021

Abstract

Objective: Individuals with a history of sexual victimization are at increased odds of developing an eating disorder in their lifetime. Emotion dysregulation has been identified as an outcome of sexual victimization and a vulnerability factor in the emergence and maintenance of disordered eating. However, research in this area has been limited by its narrow focus on dysregulation stemming from negative emotions. The aim of the current study was to explore the potential moderating roles of negative and positive emotion dysregulation in the relations between sexual victimization and disordered eating. Method: Study participants included 473 community individuals who endorsed a history of sexual assault (Mage = 34.66; 44.8% male; 78.4% White). Participants completed measures assessing sexual victimization, negative and positive emotion dysregulation, and disordered eating. Data was collected from January to April of 2020 via Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Results: Results indicated significant positive relations among sexual victimization, negative and positive emotion dysregulation, and disordered eating. Sexual victimization was found to be more strongly associated with disordered eating at high (vs. low) levels of negative and positive emotion dysregulation. Discussion: This study provides evidence for the strengthening roles of both high negative and positive emotion dysregulation in the relation between sexual victimization and disordered eating, suggesting the potential utility of targeting both negative and positive emotion dysregulation in disordered eating interventions among individuals with a history of sexual victimization.

Publication Title

Eating Behaviors

Volume

43

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