Faculté des lettres

A Multidimensional Approach to the Relationship between Emotion Regulation Difficulties and Eating Disorder Psychopathology : An investigation of how emotion regulation difficulties relate to disordered eating symptomatology in a cross-sectional and longitudinal study in young women with or without an eating disorder

Humbel, Nadine ; Munsch, Simone (Dir.)

Thèse de doctorat : Université de Fribourg, 2019.

Emotion regulation difficulties (ERD), or the inability to flexibly adjust emotional responses to environmental or personal demands, have persistently been associated in research with puzzling eating disorder (ED) psychopathology. However, consistent findings on the specificity of association between specific dimensions of ERD and specific symptoms of EDs are lacking. This thesis proposes an... More

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    Summary
    Emotion regulation difficulties (ERD), or the inability to flexibly adjust emotional responses to environmental or personal demands, have persistently been associated in research with puzzling eating disorder (ED) psychopathology. However, consistent findings on the specificity of association between specific dimensions of ERD and specific symptoms of EDs are lacking. This thesis proposes an exhaustive exploration of the complex relationship between ERD and ED symptoms by means of complementing study designs. This thesis adopts a transdiagnostic approach to both ERD and ED symptoms by examining a large heterogeneous female sample consisting of ED patients, patients with mixed mental disorders (MMD) and healthy controls (HC) aged 18 to 35. Analyses based on the multidimensional Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz and Roemer, 2004) revealed a rather consistent picture of the implication of attending to and acknowledging one’s emotions in ED symptomatology across the spectrum of mental health, in contrast to more action-oriented regulatory processes. This thesis corroborates the implication of some but not all dimensions of ERD in ED pathology in a heterogeneous sample and contributes to identify in which circumstances these associations are observable. The combined exploration of the underlying psychological and biological processes involved in emotion regulation (ER) and EDs is recommended, in order to determine most adequate interventions.