At the core of eating disorders: Overvaluation, social rank, self-criticism and shame in anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder

Cristiana Duarte, Cláudia Ferreira, José Pinto-Gouveia
Comprehensive Psychiatry 2016, 66: 123-31
This study examined the similarities and differences in eating psychopathology symptoms, overvaluation of body shape, weight and eating, general psychopathology, social comparison, self-criticism and shame, between AN, BN and BED patients. Also, the mediator effect of self-criticism and social comparison on the association between overvaluation and shame, was tested. Participants were 119 patients (34 AN, 34 BN and 51 BED) diagnosed through the Eating Disorder Examination. Results indicated that BED patients are older and present higher BMI. The groups differed regarding eating disorders' symptomatology, but no significant differences were observed in overvaluation, self-criticism, shame and overall psychopathology symptoms. The path model confirmed that overvaluation has a significant indirect association with shame, which is mediated by severe self-criticism and negative social comparisons. The model was fond to be invariant between the clinical groups. These findings contribute for the understanding of the common processes that feed the perpetual cycle of eating psychopathology. Thus, these data have potential implications for transdiagnostic approaches to treatment.

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