Experiential avoidance, eating expectancies, and binge eating: A preliminary test of an adaption of the Acquired Preparedness model of eating disorder risk
Abstract This study investigated learned expectancies of eating outcomes as a mechanism through which maladaptive avoidant strategies relate to eating psychopathology. Participants included 244 undergraduate students at a Midwestern university. The participants completed a battery of measures online. Preacher and Hayes's (2008) bootstrapping method of mediation and structural equation modeling were used to analyze the relationships among experiential avoidance, eating expectancies, and binge eating and to test how experiential avoidance fits within the Acquired Preparedness model of eating disorder risk that highlights the role of negative urgency. Results revealed that experiential avoidance was positively related to negative affect eating expectancies and to binge eating. Negative affect eating expectancies mediated the relationship between experiential avoidance and binge eating. Further, experiential avoidance more adequately explained binge eating in the Acquired Preparedness model of eating disorder risk than did negative urgency. The findings from this study suggest an alternative understanding of the pathways through which dispositional and psychosocial characteristics of undergraduate students may impact eating disorder symptomatology.
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