Self-disclosure in eating disorders.

B. Basile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Secrecy and concealment are typical behaviours in individuals with eating problems. This study explored the relationship between eating-related problems and self-disclosure. It examined whether women with greater eating related problems were less willing to disclose. Different types of self-disclosure were calculated, considering disclosure related to body appearance and to restrained eating. The role of risk factors which concur to the development and maintenance of eating symptomatology was also explored. METHOD: The Eating Symptoms Inventory was used to investigate the existence of an eventual eating symptomatology, self-disclosure was calculated through the Self-Disclosure Index, while a new scale was validated to assess a self-disclosure related to body image and eating attitudes. Other scales measured the influence of different risk factors, as body dissatisfaction, social pressure to be thin, and restrained eating. RESULTS: A significant inverse relationship was found between general self-disclosure and psychological aspects related to the practice of wrong weight control behaviours and risk factors as dieting, body dissatisfaction, and social pressure to be thin. The significant role of risk factors was confirmed in the development and maintenance of eating disturbances. Interesting results were found using the different self-disclosure indexes as mediators and moderators. Relevant differences were found between Dutch and Italians concerning to their eating attitudes and to the role of different risk factors. CONCLUSION: Some limits are the impossibility to generalize these findings and the use of a non clinical sample. Some new longitudinal studies should be done in this direction to deepen the relationship between self-disclosure and eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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