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Do body checking and avoidance behaviours explain variance in disordered eating beyond attitudinal measures of body image?
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2019, 00:00 authored by Jake LinardonJake Linardon, Matthew Fuller-TyszkiewiczMatthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Xochitl de la Piedad Garcia, Mariel MesserMariel Messer, Leah Brennan
Body checking and body avoidance, considered to be behavioural manifestations of core attitudinal disturbances of body image, are theorized to be important contributors to the development and maintenance of eating disorder symptoms. Currently, however, it is unclear whether body checking and body avoidance accounts for variance in disordered eating behaviours beyond core attitudinal components of body image (i.e., over-evaluation, preoccupation, dissatisfaction). This was the objective of the present study. Cross-sectional data were analysed from 320 females recruited through undergraduate psychology programs and throughout the community. Bivariate correlations demonstrated that body checking and avoidance were significantly and positively correlated with each attitudinal component and with each measure of disordered eating (overeating, objective binge eating, and disinhibition). However, body checking and avoidance did not contribute variance (all R2changes ≤ 0.01) to each disordered eating behaviour beyond the variance accounted for by attitudinal components. Future research should aim to identify what specific and unique function these body image behaviours serve. Overall, eating disorder prevention and early intervention programs may benefit from ensuring that all facets of body image concerns are targeted and addressed.