A moderated-mediation model of disordered eating behavior using family functioning, alexithymia, and rational processing style

Matthew A.J. Harland, Lynsey J. Brown, Malcolm J. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Both alexithymia and family functioning are predictive of disordered eating behavior. However, few studies have considered their relationship to occur as a mediation. Additionally, no literature has considered the influence that a rational processing style, as defined by Cognitive-Experiential Theory, may have on this relationship. The current study aimed to test the prediction that the negative relationship between family functioning and disordered eating behavior may occur through alexithymia. Further, it was predicted that greater rational processing, which has been argued to be protective of maladaptive, emotionally driven behaviors, would reduce the indirect effect of family functioning on disordered eating (a moderated-mediation model). Two hundred and two women, aged 18–25, completed a questionnaire booklet assessing the relevant constructs, including emotional, external, and restrained eating. An indirect effect of family functioning on disordered eating, through alexithymia, was present only for restrained eating. Contrary to prediction, this effect became stronger at higher levels of rational processing. The study provides initial support for the importance of considering processing style alongside familial and emotional predictors of disordered eating behavior, as it may modify their relevance. This has potential implications for current and future developmental and treatment models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2095723
Number of pages15
JournalCogent Psychology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • alexithymia
  • cognitive processing
  • Disordered eating
  • family functioning
  • moderated-mediation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A moderated-mediation model of disordered eating behavior using family functioning, alexithymia, and rational processing style'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this