The mediating role of temperamental traits on the relationship between age of puberty and eating disorders: A mediating analysis through structural equation modelling of Australian eating disorder outpatients
Paganini, C and Peterson, G and Andrews, K, The mediating role of temperamental traits on the relationship between age of puberty and eating disorders: A mediating analysis through structural equation modelling of Australian eating disorder outpatients, The Journal of Genetic Psychology pp. 1-15. ISSN 0022-1325 (2021) [Refereed Article]
The current study had the aim to assess whether temperamental traits mediate the relationship between time of puberty and eating disorder (ED) severity using a sample of 292 outpatients with EDs [68 with Anorexia Nervosa Restrictive Type (AN-R), 101 with Anorexia Nervosa Binge Purging Type (AN-BP), 72 with Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and 51 with Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED)]. Age of puberty, the severity of EDs, and temperamental traits were assessed through Demographic and Medical History Form, Eating Disorder Examination 17.0d (EDE-17.0d) and Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised (TCI-R), with a focus on the temperament scales: novelty seeking (TCI-NS), harm avoidance (TCI-HA), reward dependence (TCI-RD) and persistence (TCI-P). One-way ANOVA, correlation, and mediating analyses through structural equation modeling were performed to test the relationship between variables under investigation and assess if the four temperamental traits act as mediators in the relationship between time of puberty and ED severity. The results show a full mediating effect of the temperamental sub-scales on the relationship between puberty and EDE-17. In particular, TCI-R HA showed a complementary mediation on the relationship between age of puberty and EDE-17.0d, meaning that age of puberty increases the level of TCI-R HA, which in turn increases the severity of ED, confirming that this temperamental trait plays an important role in the development of ED after puberty. To conclude, temperamental traits seem to play a full mediating role in the relationship between puberty and ED severity, but more research is needed.