The relative associations of shape and weight over-evaluation, preoccupation, dissatisfaction, and fear of weight gain with measures of psychopathology: An extension study in individuals with anorexia nervosa
Recent research has demonstrated that certain components of body image (i.e., shape and weight over-evaluation, preoccupation, and dissatisfaction) in secondary school students shared a distinct clinical significance because of their differential relation to measures of psychopathology. The present study aimed to replicate and extend on these findings by examining the distinctiveness of these body image constructs, in addition to a fear of weight gain, in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN)-a disorder this is facilitated and maintained by extreme body image concerns. Treatment-seeking females with AN (n = 124) completed a questionnaire battery that measured these constructs. Findings demonstrated that once any shared variance between body image components was removed in regression analyses, fear of weight gain was the only unique predictor of eating disorder psychopathology (e.g., dietary restraint and compulsive exercise), while over-evaluation and preoccupation were the only unique predictors of general psychopathology (e.g., depressive and anxiety symptoms). Overall, these findings demonstrate certain components of body image may operate differently in AN, and reinforce previous calls to consider and assess for distinct facets of body image in this population.