From childhood emotional maltreatment to disordered eating: A path analysis

Lenzo, Vittorio

Childhood emotional maltreatment (i.e., emotional abuse and emotional neglect), attachment, reflective functioning (RF), defense styles, and disordered eating (DE) are associated with each other. However, no study has yet investigated all these variables simultaneously. The present study aimed to test the mediating role of attachment, RF, and defense styles in the relationship between childhood emotional abuse and neglect and DE. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 769 Italian adults (48.1% females; mean age = 28.89; SD = 7.28). DE, childhood emotional abuse and neglect, attachment (anxiety and avoidance), RF, and defense styles were assessed. Bivariate correlations and path analysis were run separately for males and females. We found significant indirect effects between emotional abuse and neglect and DE via attachment insecurities (anxiety and avoidance), low RF, and neurotic and immature defense styles in females. In addition, neurotic and immature defense styles and RF mediated the relationship between emotional neglect, attachment anxiety, and DE, in males. The findings supported the hypothesized model of risk factors for DE and provided additional insight into mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood emotional maltreatment and DE. Prevention and intervention programs should be targeted at improving attachment security, defensive functioning maturity, and RF in people with a history of childhood emotional maltreatment.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento:
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact