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How might eating disorders stigmatization worsen eating disorders symptom severity? Evaluation of a stigma internalization model


Griffiths, S and Mitchison, D and Murray, SB and Mond, JM and Bastian, BB, How might eating disorders stigmatization worsen eating disorders symptom severity? Evaluation of a stigma internalization model, International Journal of Eating Disorders, 51, (8) pp. 1010-1014. ISSN 0276-3478 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1002/eat.22932


Objective: Eating disorders stigmatization is common and is associated with greater eating disorders symptom severity. This study sought to elucidate stigma internalization as a potential mechanism underlying this association. Two central aspects of stigma internalization were focused on: alienation and social withdrawal.

Method: A cross-national sample of individuals with self-reported eating disorders (N = 260) completed measures of eating disorders stigmatization, symptom severity, alienation, and social withdrawal.

Results: The model evidenced excellent fit. Eating disorders stigmatization directly predicted both alienation and social withdrawal, which, in turn, directly predicted symptom severity. Indirect effect analyses indicated that greater eating disorders stigmatization ultimately predicted greater symptom severity via alienation and social withdrawal. Moreover, social withdrawal mediated the association of alienation with symptom severity. Fitting a direct pathway from eating disorder stigmatization to symptom severity did not improve model fit.

Discussion: Our model provides a potentially useful account of the mechanisms by which eating disorders stigmatization might worsen eating disorder symptom severity. Specifically, the stigma internalization processes of alienation and social withdrawal may be important factors linking stigmatization with symptom severity. The findings have implications for clinicians attempting to help individuals with eating disorders to monitor and modify their responses to eating disorders stigmatization.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:alienation, eating disorders, social withdrawal, stigma, stigma internalization
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Mond, JM (Dr Jon Mond)
ID Code:130350
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2019-01-22
Last Modified:2019-04-01

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