JOURNAL ARTICLE

Shame memories and eating psychopathology: the buffering effect of self-compassion

Cláudia Ferreira, Marcela Matos, Cristiana Duarte, José Pinto-Gouveia
European Eating Disorders Review: the Journal of the Eating Disorders Association 2014, 22 (6): 487-94
25257060

OBJECTIVE: Research suggests that self-compassion may protect against shame in eating disorders. This study examines the association between shame memories, self-compassion, self-judgment and eating psychopathology severity and tests the moderator effect of self-compassion on the relationships between shame memories and eating psychopathology.

METHOD: Participants were 34 patients with the diagnosis of an eating disorder, who were assessed using Eating Disorder Examination and the Shame Experiences Interview and self-report instruments measuring the traumatic and centrality to identity features of shame memories, self-compassion and self-judgment.

RESULTS: Self-compassion was negatively correlated to shame memory features and eating psychopathology, and self-judgment was positively associated with such variables. Self-compassion had a moderator effect on the association between shame traumatic and central memories and eating psychopathology severity.

CONCLUSION: This is the first study to explore the buffering effect of self-compassion against the pathogenic effects of shame memories on eating psychopathology severity in eating disorders, with relevant clinical and research implications.

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