Title

Relations between implicit attitudes towards eating disorder stimuli and disordered eating symptoms among at-risk college women

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

This study examined implicit attitudes towards different eating disorder (ED) relevant stimuli— emaciation, hard-exercise, the self, and eating related stimuli—and their relationship with explicit ED symptoms in two symptomatic samples of college-aged women. Study 1 found that positive implicit attitudes towards eating and self-relevant images were associated with greater state body image satisfaction and self-esteem and with less ED-related intentions. Study 2 found that positive implicit attitudes towards eating and self-relevant images were associated with less trait global ED psychopathology and distress and greater self-esteem. Overall, positive implicit evaluations of eating and self-related stimuli were negatively associated with ED symptoms and related psychopathology and positively related to self-esteem. However, implicit attitudes towards emaciation and hard exercise were not associated with explicit ED symptoms in either sample. These findings suggest that implicit attitudes towards eating and self-related stimuli, in particular, may be viable targets for reconditioning in novel treatment paradigms such as therapeutic evaluative conditioning interventions.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2021

Publication Title

Eating Behaviors

ISSN

1471-0153

Volume

41

DOI

10.1016/j.eatbeh.2021.101499

First Page

101499

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