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Emotions mediate the relationship between autistic traits and disordered eating: A new autistic-emotional model for eating pathology


Mansour, S and Rozenblat, V and Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M and Paganini, C and Treasure, J and Krug, I, Emotions mediate the relationship between autistic traits and disordered eating: A new autistic-emotional model for eating pathology, Psychiatry Research, 245 pp. 119-126. ISSN 0165-1781 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.021


The aim of the study was to assess the extent of overlap between autistic traits, body dissatisfaction and disordered eating and to explore the mediating effects of negative attitudes towards emotional expression and emotion dysregulation. The sample comprised 416 university students (82% females, 17-48 years [M = 19.76, SD = 3.85]), who completed an online questionnaire assessing eating attitudes and behaviours (including dieting, bulimia and oral control), body dissatisfaction, and autistic traits (including the Autism Quotient [AQ] and its related subscales as well as the Empathising Quotient). Attitudes towards emotional expression and emotion regulation were also assessed. Results revealed that eating pathology correlated highly with all AQ subscales, with the exception of the attention to detail subscale. However, there was no significant relationship between empathising and eating pathology. Path-analyses indicated that emotion dysregulation, but not negative attitudes towards emotional expression, was a significant mediator of the relationship between AQ, body dissatisfaction and eating pathology. Direct relationships were also obtained for the AQ-bulimia and the AQ-oral control paths. Prevention and early intervention programs for eating pathology would likely benefit from addressing abnormalities in emotion processes in individuals who score highly on measures of autistic traits.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:eating disorders, autism spectrum disorder, autism spectrum quotient, empathising, attitudes towards emotional expression, emotion dysregulation
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Other psychology
Research Field:Other psychology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Paganini, C (Miss Chiara Paganini)
ID Code:111463
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2016-09-14
Last Modified:2017-10-23

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