Weight Stigmatization, Internalization, and Eating Disorder Symptoms: The Role of Emotion Dysregulation

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Abstract

Weight-based stigmatization is a prevalent problem that can result in disordered eating, especially if weight bias internalization is also present. Emotion dysregulation is correlated with disordered eating as well, and it is not known whether emotion dysregulation may worsen disordered eating in those who experience weight stigmatization. The current study aimed to fill this gap in the literature with 2 hypotheses: that those who report emotion dysregulation and have experienced weight stigma would display disordered eating, and that those who also had internalized weight bias would have even more severe disordered eating. One hundred four students completed surveys enquiring about their weight stigmatization experiences, emotion regulation, weight bias internalization, and disordered eating behaviors. Multiple regression analyses supported the influence of stigmatization, emotion dysregulation, and internalization on disordered eating, and the interaction of weight stigmatization and emotion dysregulation. These results indicate the importance of considering emotion dysregulation in the weight-based stigmatization literature.

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