The present study was designed to increase our understanding of the co-morbidity between problem drinking and binge eating. The study investigated both consummatory behaviors in relation to restrained drinking, restrained eating, and a general measure of self-control. The participants were a sample of 658 boys and 414 girls aged between 14 and 17 years. The dimension of restraint, which best predicted the two problem behaviors when examined separately for both boys and girls, was cognitive and emotional preoccupation (CEP) about controlling one's consummatory intake. In addition, evidence was found linking both problem drinking and binge eating to restraint and poor general self-control. The struggle with self-control and the high emphasis on CEP about controlling one's consummatory intake, which characterise restrained drinking and restrained eating, closely resembles Baumeister and Heatherton's notion of misregulation [Psychol. Inquiry 7 (1996) 1]. Discussed are the similarities between restraint and misregulation, and the kinds of strategies that can be used to improve self-control.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology