Subclinical eating disorder symptoms and positive vs. negative affect in high school students: the mediating role of self-regulation
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SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wroclaw, Poland
Submission date: 2018-09-04
Final revision date: 2019-01-25
Acceptance date: 2019-01-30
Online publication date: 2019-02-21
Publication date: 2019-06-24
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2019;7(2):120–131
Subclinical symptoms of eating disorders (ED) appear early, and adolescents still represent a specific risk group. Are there strat-egies of self-regulation which can protect adolescents against severe symptoms? We investigated differential mediators between subclinical eating disorder symptoms and negative vs. positive affect in adolescents.

Participants and procedure:
Data were collected twice. Adolescents (ages 17-18, N = 98) filled in the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI-2), the Volitional Competences Questionnaire (VCQ), the Personality Style and Disorders Inventory (PSDI) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedules (PANAS). We postulated two different serial multiple mediation models originating in eating disorders, one leading to negative affect (through depressive personality style and self-motivation) and the other leading to positive affect (through self-regulation competences: self-relaxation and self-motivation).

The serial multiple mediation models were confirmed, with the postulated variables serving as mediators of positive and negative affect. In addition to body dissatisfaction, there were two additional predictors for positive affect (ineffectiveness and social insecurity) and five predictors for negative affect (drive for thinness, bulimia, perfectionism, interoceptive awareness, asceti-cism).

These experiences of eating disorders are associated with affect, through self-regulation of emotion (self-motivation), which along with depression or self-relaxation leads to either a decrease in the negative affect or an increase in the positive affect. Self-regulation is an important factor in preventing eating disorders and protecting the overall emotional well-being in high school students.

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