Abstract

A prominent theory of binge eating is the affect regulation theory, which posits that individuals binge eat to alleviate negative affect, and subsequently reduced negative affect reinforces the behavior. Although it is well-supported that individuals experience elevated negative affect pre-binge, findings do not consistently evince reduced negative affect after binge eating. Therefore, the affect regulation theory does not fully account for binge eating. However, habitual binge eating without reliable improvement in affect may be accounted for by expectancy theory. Expectancies may be predictive of behavior whether the outcomes of a behavior are inconsistent. Additionally, there is an increasing scientific awareness that a sense of loss of control over eating is the most clinically relevant and psychologically distressing component of binge eating and is still associated with adverse outcomes even without objective over-eating. The psychological correlates of low distress tolerance and difficulty regulating one's emotions may contribute to loss-of-control-eating (LOCE), although research to-date primarily focuses on binge eating as a whole. Additionally, expectancy theory has yet to specifically address LOCE. Therefore, it is essential to understand the impact of the expectancy eating will alleviate negative affect (NA reduction expectancy) and psychological factors distress tolerance and emotion regulation difficulties on LOCE. This relationship was assessed with a multiple linear regression model including a three-way interaction between the predictor variables using data from a national online sample of U.S. adults. NA reduction expectancy and emotion regulation difficulties had direct associations with LOCE, but distress tolerance did not. Additionally, when NA reduction expectancy was high, distress tolerance failed to moderate the impact of emotion regulation difficulties on LOCE. However, at low NA reduction expectancy / high distress tolerance, emotion regulation difficulties no longer significantly contributed to LOCE. Limitations, clinical implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

Notes

If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu.

Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Dvorak, Robert

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology; Clinical Psychology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008627;DP0025358

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0025358

Language

English

Release Date

August 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Share

COinS