Eating Disorders (EDs) and related symptoms pose a substantial public health concern due to their widespread prevalence among both genders and associated negative outcomes, underscoring the need for effective preventive interventions. In this context, deepening our understanding of the interplay between ED symptoms and related protective factors appears crucial. Therefore, this study employed a structural network analysis approach considering both ED symptom dimensions (i.e., drive for thinness, bulimic symptoms, and body dissatisfaction) and related protective factors (i.e., body and functionality appreciation, intuitive eating, and self-esteem) to shed light on how these factors are interrelated. A community sample of 1391 individuals (34.4% men; Mage = 26.4 years) completed a socio-demographic schedule and self-report questionnaires. The network showed that the nodes with the highest positive expected influence were body and functionality appreciation, while those with the highest negative expected influence were eating for physical rather than emotional reasons and unconditional permission to eat (i.e., two components of intuitive eating). Crucially, the most relevant bridges between the conceptual communities “ED symptom dimensions” and “Protective factors” were the negative relations between (a) eating for physical rather than emotional reasons and bulimic symptoms, (b) unconditional permission to eat and drive for thinness, and (c) body appreciation and body dissatisfaction. Finally, age, gender, and body mass index did not moderate any edge in the network. The practical implications of these findings are discussed, especially in terms of preventive interventions for ED symptoms.

Eating disorder symptom dimensions and protective factors: A structural network analysis study

Gioia Bottesi;Igor Marchetti
2024-01-01

Abstract

Eating Disorders (EDs) and related symptoms pose a substantial public health concern due to their widespread prevalence among both genders and associated negative outcomes, underscoring the need for effective preventive interventions. In this context, deepening our understanding of the interplay between ED symptoms and related protective factors appears crucial. Therefore, this study employed a structural network analysis approach considering both ED symptom dimensions (i.e., drive for thinness, bulimic symptoms, and body dissatisfaction) and related protective factors (i.e., body and functionality appreciation, intuitive eating, and self-esteem) to shed light on how these factors are interrelated. A community sample of 1391 individuals (34.4% men; Mage = 26.4 years) completed a socio-demographic schedule and self-report questionnaires. The network showed that the nodes with the highest positive expected influence were body and functionality appreciation, while those with the highest negative expected influence were eating for physical rather than emotional reasons and unconditional permission to eat (i.e., two components of intuitive eating). Crucially, the most relevant bridges between the conceptual communities “ED symptom dimensions” and “Protective factors” were the negative relations between (a) eating for physical rather than emotional reasons and bulimic symptoms, (b) unconditional permission to eat and drive for thinness, and (c) body appreciation and body dissatisfaction. Finally, age, gender, and body mass index did not moderate any edge in the network. The practical implications of these findings are discussed, especially in terms of preventive interventions for ED symptoms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3071878
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