Desire to eat and its relationship with emotion regulation, what does rumination has to do with it? Masterthesis Sofie
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There seems to be an important relationship between type of emotion regulation, adaptive or maladaptive, and eating behaviour. The focus of the literature to date is mainly on reappraisal and suppression. This online study sought to extend the findings thus far to another maladaptive emotion regulation strategy, rumination. An autobiographical sadnessevoking event was recalled. Then participants were randomly allocated to a rumination condition to trigger maladaptive emotion regulation, or a reappraisal condition to trigger adaptive emotion regulation. Desire to eat was repeatedly measured at pre-recall, post-recall and post-emotion regulation. Findings revealed that desire to eat decreased after a sadness evoking event was recalled but remained untouched by the emotion regulation manipulation. The desire to eat was the same whether you ruminated or reappraised emotions. Findings are carefully interpreted in light of this study being the first to experimentally test the effect of rumination on desire to eat. More empirical evidence is necessary to make sound conclusions about the relationship between the maladaptive emotion regulation strategy rumination and eating behaviour.