Associations Between Specific Components of Compulsive Exercise and Eating-Disordered Cognitions and Behaviors Among Young Women

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Objective:To explore the associations between specific elements of compulsive exercise and both eating-disordered cognitions and eating-disordered behaviors in a nonclinical sample of young women.Method:A sample of young women (n = 498) completed self-report measures of eating pathology (The Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire) and a relatively new measure of Compulsive Exercise Test.Results:Specific elements of compulsive exercise were associated with elevated levels of eating-disordered cognitions and increased frequency of eating-disordered behaviors.Discussion:These results support a multifunctional conceptualization of compulsive exercise, suggesting that some of the functionality of compulsive exercise may be akin to other forms of purging, and further supporting the notion of a possible functional equivalence between compulsive exercise and specific eating-disordered behaviors in terms of affect regulation.

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