Academic journal article Journal of Eating Disorders

The Positive Impact of Self-Compassion on Disordered Eating and Associated Risk Factors

Academic journal article Journal of Eating Disorders

The Positive Impact of Self-Compassion on Disordered Eating and Associated Risk Factors

Article excerpt

Author(s): Tiegan Holtham[sup.1] and Murray Dyck[sup.1]

Self-compassion is associated with improved affect regulation, adaptive coping strategies and various measures of wellbeing. It has also been suggested as a protective factor against characteristics considered to maintain eating pathology. Specifically, cognitive theories of eating disorders suggest that dysfunctional assumptions and negative beliefs regarding shape, weight and eating lead to ego-dysfunction characteristics (perfectionistic concerns, experiential avoidance, low self-esteem) which increase eating disorder risk. The following study explored the hypothesis that self-compassion is a critical protective element in ameliorating vulnerability factors related to disordered eating behaviours. These relationships were explored in an adult community sample (N = 423). Dysfunctional assumptions and beliefs related to eating predicted disordered eating behaviours, and this relationship was mediated by low self-esteem and experiential avoidance, but not perfectionistic concerns. Self-compassion was negatively associated with disordered eating, and was found to moderate each of the relationships between disordered eating and perfectionistic concerns, experiential avoidance and low self-esteem. …

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