Are emotion regulation difficulties a moderator in the relationship between dating abuse and body investment in eating disorders?

S. Gonçalves*, B. César Machado, A. I. Vieira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: It is well known that eating disorders (EDs) are related to intimacy difficulties and to previous adverse experiences; however, little is known about dating abuse and how this kind of abuse is related to the different facets of body investment and emotion regulation difficulties in EDs. This study aimed to evaluate the presence of dating abuse in ED outpatients and to evaluate the moderating role of difficulties in emotion regulation in the relationship between dating abuse and the different facets of body investment. Method: Sixty-four ED outpatients (95.3% females; aged from 15 to 30 years) completed self-report measures regarding dating abuse, body investment, difficulties in emotion regulation, and ED symptoms. Results: Approximately 89% of ED outpatients identified a current or past dating relationship. Of those, 51 (89.5%) reported at least one episode of dating abuse perpetration, and 52 (91.2%) reported at least one episode of dating abuse victimization. Emotional abuse was the most reported type of dating abuse. High levels of dating abuse were related to elevated body care in participants with more difficulties in emotion regulation. The remaining models, incorporating the other facets of body investment, did not show significant moderating effects. Discussion: A substantial number of ED outpatients reported dating abuse. Pending longitudinal replication, body care may be used as a strategy to deal with dating abuse in the absence of more adaptive emotion regulation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100704
Number of pages10
JournalRevue Europeenne de Psychologie Appliquee
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Body investment
  • Dating abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotion regulation difficulties

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