A mediated moderation model of bulimic symptoms among college women
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This longitudinal study investigates under what conditions overvaluation of weight/shape is related to bulimic symptoms. In this study we examine whether internal attribution for negative appearance-related events moderates the relation between over-valuation of weight/shape and bulimic symptoms. Next, we examine whether this interaction is mediated by self-competence. Self-report questionnaires of overvaluation of weight/shape, internal attribution, self-competence, and bulimic symptoms were administered to 406 female undergraduates, with overvaluation of weight/shape being reported at Time 1, self-competence and bulimic symptoms being reported at Time 2, and internal attribution for negative appearance-related events data collected across the 11 intervening weeks between Time 1 and Time 2. Regression analyses revealed a significant, two-way interaction whereby high overvaluation of weight/shape was associated with the presence of binges (but not inappropriate compensatory behaviors or bulimic symptoms in general). In addition, a significant two-way interaction was found between overvaluation and internal attribution to predict self-competence. However, the full mediated moderation model was not significant. The findings highlight the importance of overvaluation of weight/shape in relation to bingeing (particularly for those high in internal attribution) and feeling efficacious (regardless of attribution level).
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