Internalized Stigma as a Transdiagnostic Factor for Women with Eating Disorders

Caitlin A. Martin-Wagar, Ingrid K. Weigold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to examine how internalized weight bias (IWB), body surveillance, and body shame relate to eating pathology in women with diagnosed eating disorders (EDs) across the weight spectrum. Previous research has examined these variables in primarily non-clinical populations, binge eating disorder, and higher weight populations. In a sample of 98 women with diagnosed EDs, the association of IWB, body surveillance, and body shame on the severity of ED symptoms was examined with hierarchical multiple regression analyses. Results indicate that IWB, body surveillance, and body shame significantly predicted global eating pathology, F (4, 93) = 40.74, p < .001. IWB, body surveillance, and body shame related to global eating pathology, even after controlling for previous weight bias experiences. Analyses with specific symptom clusters found that only body surveillance predicted dietary restraint, only IWB and body shame predicted overvaluation of shape/weight, and only IWB predicted body dissatisfaction. The findings in this study provide initial support for internalized stigma variables (IWB, body surveillance, and body shame) related to ED pathology in a transdiagnostic clinical eating disorder sample across the weight spectrum. Results suggest that further examination of internalized stigma is needed within ED treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-190
Number of pages18
JournalEating Disorders
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

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