Does Emotion Dysregulation Predict Eating Pathology in a Greek Female University Sample?
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Emotion Dysregulation (EDR) is shown to be associated to Eating Pathology (EP) in several western studies. The first aim of the present study was to assess this topic in the Greek population as no study has been conducted within this population to date. It was hypothesised that EDR would predict EP after controlling for Body Mass Index (BMI) and Negative Affect (NA). The second aim was to compare females who engage in Binge Eating (BE) episodes to those who engage in both BE and Restrictive Eating (RE) in terms of the six Emotion Regulation (ER) dimensions by Gratz and Roemer (2004): (1) Acceptance of Emotions, (2) Ability to Refrain from Impulsive Behaviour, (3) and Engage in Goal-Directed Behaviour when upset, (4) Emotional Awareness and (5) Clarity, as well as (6) Ability to Use Adaptive ER Strategies. It was expected that overall both groups would display similar ER difficulties. The only difference was hypothesised to be found regarding “Access to ER strategies”, with those who engage in BE self-reporting slightly less difficulties than those who engage in both BE and RE. The study was conducted online. The Greek adaptations of the Difficulties in ER scale (DERS), the ED Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q), and the 7 items assessing depression from the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Survey short form (DASS-21) were completed by 105 female university students. Contrary to our first hypothesis, EDR did not predict EP whereas both BMI and NA were found to be significant predictors. Contrary to our second hypothesis, no significant differences were found regarding the “Strategies” dimension between the BE and BE&RE groups. However, there was a trend towards significance for three dimensions. Namely, the BE&RE group was shown to have slightly more difficulties in “Accepting their emotions” as well as in “Refraining from Impulsive behaviour” when upset than the BE group, while the latter self-reported slightly greater “Lack of Emotional Clarity”. Further research is required to assess this topic within a Greek clinical population in order to ascertain whether components targeting ER deficits should be incorporated into treatments for EP.