A network approach to eating disorder symptomatology: Do desire for thinness and fear of gaining weight play unique roles in the network? Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This study used network analyses to test the hypotheses that desire for thinness and fear of gaining weight are related but distinct constructs that play a central role in disordered eating. Data from a sample of 251 college women were used. Sparse undirected eating disorder symptom networks were calculated. Bootstrapped difference tests for edge weights and centrality indices were used to compare the position of desire for thinness and fear of gaining weight. Desire for thinness and fear of gaining weight exhibited unique patterns of associations within the network. Desire for thinness was highly connected to body dissatisfaction, thoughts about dieting, and thoughts about binge eating. Fear of gaining weight was not. Desire for thinness emerged as the most central symptom. Our findings support the distinction between fear of gaining weight and desire for thinness and their different roles within the eating disorder symptom network.

publication date

  • 2018