SUPPORT FOR UNHEALTHY DIETING

By On Saturday, September 28th, 2013 Categories : Review

All the scales demonstrated good reliability, except for the unhealthy dieting scale. The internal reliability for the unhealthy dieting scale was somewhat concerning. Within-Individual correlations Self and relationship functioning. Women with higher self-esteem reported higher relationship  satisfaction. Higher relationship satisfaction and self-esteem were also associated with lower attachment anxiety and avoidance. Females who reported higher levels of depression also reported lower self-esteem and greater attachment anxiety. Dieting. Correlations between healthy and unhealthy dieting levels and self and relationship functioning. As predicted, healthy dieting levels were not associated with self or relationship functioning. Also as predicted, and consistent with prior research, women who were engaging in more frequent unhealthy dieting had more negative views of the self (lower self-esteem and higher levels of depressive symptomatology). Also against predictions, women who were less satisfied with their relationship did not engage in more unhealthy dieting Eating disordered attitudes and beliefs. Finally, correlations between eating disordered attitudes and beliefs and other self and relationship functioning variables.
Consistent with previous research, women who reported more disordered eating attitudes and beliefs had lower self-esteem, were more depressed, had less satisfying relationships, and were more anxious in their relationships. Also as predicted, women with more disordered eating tendencies also engaged in higher levels of unhealthy dieting. Across-Partner Correlations The current research focused on female self and relationship functioning. Against predictions, males who were less satisfied with their relationship did not have female partners who were doing more unhealthy dieting. No other female self functioning variables were associated with partner relationship satisfaction. Interestingly, relationship satisfaction for men was higher when their partner was less overweight (r = -.31, p < .05), however relationship satisfaction for women was not related to their partner’s weight. Controlling for partner effects. Regression analyses were used to test whether the withinfemale links between self and relationship functioning variables and 1) unhealthy dieting, 2)healthy dieting, 3) eating disordered attitudes and beliefs were affected by the male partner levels of the same variable. For example, unhealthy dieting was regressed onto both male and female relationship satisfaction in order to determine if the link between female relationship satisfaction and unhealthy dieting was influenced by male relationship satisfaction. Results indicated that controlling for male levels of a self or relationship functioning variable did not change any of the significant correlations between the female variables. Moreover, there were also no significant links between the partner and the female dependent variables (when controlling for the relevant female independent variables).  Self-Esteem as a Moderator As shown in Figure 1, it was hypothesized that the relation between eating disordered attitudes and beliefs and unhealthy dieting should be moderated by self-esteem. To test these predictions, hierarchical regression analyses were performed with unhealthy dieting as the dependent variable. Unhealthy dieting was regressed onto the independent variable of eating disordered attitudes and beliefs, the moderator variable of self-esteem, and the interaction between these two variables. The regression coefficients, demonstrating that higher eating disordered attitudes and beliefs and lower self esteem are both significantly (marginally for self-esteem) and independently associated with a higher level of unhealthy dieting. Further, the relationship between eating disordered attitudes and beliefs and unhealthy dieting is significantly different for women with low compared with high self-esteem (the interaction term). The interaction between self-esteem and eating disordered attitudes and beliefs as related to unhealthy dieting. The slope shown in Figure 4 for the low self-esteem individuals was significant, ß = .68 (t = 3.67, p < .01). However, the slope for the high self-esteem individuals was not significant, ß = .11 (t = .64). It is possible that the reason women with lower self-esteem and more dysfunctional eating and body attitudes turn to unhealthy dieting is that they are in fact more overweight, driving the low self esteem, dysfunctional eating and body attitudes, and leading to unhealthy dieting practices. This pressure may drive the woman to turn to unhealthy dieting. To test these alternative explanations, the prior analysis was recalculated sequentially controlling for BMI, relationship satisfaction, and frequency of healthy dieting. Eating Disordered Attitudes and Beliefs as a Mediator It was predicted that eating disordered attitudes and beliefs would mediate the link between self and relationship functioning variables and unhealthy dieting. First, the self or relationship functioning variable must be significantly associated with unhealthy dieting. Second, the self or relationship functioning variable must be significantly associated with eating disordered attitudes and beliefs. Third, eating disordered attitudes and beliefs must be significantly associated with unhealthy dieting when controlling for the self or relationship  functioning variable. Finally, the size of the path from the self or relationship functioning variable to unhealthy dieting should be significantly reduced when eating disordered attitudes and beliefs are controlled. The mediation model was tested with the link between the self and relationship functioning variables and unhealthy dieting. As predicted, eating disordered attitudes and beliefs were found to (partially) mediate the links to unhealthy dieting for self-esteem, depression, and anxious attachment. However, as mentioned earlier, there was no significant association between relationship satisfaction and unhealthy dieting, so there was no need to test a meditational model for this variable.
Self-esteem and unhealthy dieting. The results of the path analysis using multiple regression to test the mediation model, which was supported. Lower self-esteem predicted higher levels of eating disordered attitudes and beliefs, which in turn fed into higher levels of unhealthy dieting. Moreover, the indirect effect (equivalent to the drop in the direct path between self-esteem and unhealthy dieting when the mediating variable was controlled) was significant when tested with Sobel’s test (z = 2.46, p < .05). This partial mediation model supports the hypothesis that women with lower self-esteem engage in more unhealthy dieting in part as a function of their higher levels of eating disordered attitudes and beliefs.    Depression and unhealthy dieting. Higher levels of depressive symptomatology predicted higher levels of eating disordered attitudes and beliefs, which in turn fed into higher levels of unhealthy dieting. Moreover, the indirect effect of depression on unhealthy dieting was significant when tested with Sobel’s test (z = 2.48, p < .05). This partial Anxious attachment and unhealthy dieting. Finally, The supported mediational model between anxious attachment and unhealthy dieting. It demonstrates that higher levels of anxious attachment predicted higher levels of eating disordered attitudes and beliefs, which in turn fed into higher levels of unhealthy dieting. This partial mediation model supports the hypothesis that women who are more anxious in their attachment style tend to do more unhealthy dieting in large part due to higher levels of eating disordered attitudes and beliefs. Alternative explanations.

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