Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorder Symptomatology: A Latent Structural Equation Modeling Analysis of Moderating Variables in 18-to-28-Year-Old Males

Antonios Dakanalis, Laura Favagrossa, Massimo Clerici, Antonio Prunas, Fabrizia Colmegna, M. Assunta Zanetti, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although body dissatisfaction is recognized as the strongest risk factor for eating disturbances, a majority of young males are body dissatisfied, but do not concomitantly report severe levels of eating disorder symptomatology. The present investigation was designed to examine five theoretically relevant variables (i.e., body checking, emotional dysregulation, perfectionism, insecure-anxious attachment, and self-esteem) as potential moderators of the relationship between body dissatisfaction and two critical components of male eating disorder symptomatology: drive for muscularity and bulimic behaviors. Data collected from 551 Italian males between 18 and 28 years old were analyzed using latent structural equation modeling. The authors found that emotional dysregulation, body checking, insecure-anxious attachment and perfectionism intensified the relationship between body dissatisfaction and each criterion variable representing male eating disorder symptomatology; the interactions accounted respectively for an additional 2%, 7%, 4% and 5% of variance in drive for muscularity and for an additional 6%, 4%, 5%, and 2% of the variance in bulimic behaviors. By contrast self-esteem weakened this relationship and the interactions accounted for an additional 3% of the variance in both drive for muscularity and bulimic behaviors. Implications of these findings for prevention and treatment of male eating disturbances are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-112
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Volume149
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • body dissatisfaction
  • bulimia
  • drive for muscularity
  • moderators
  • young males

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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