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The relationship between maladaptive schemas and binge eating in an overweight/obese community population: Mediating effects of depression and moderating effects of schema avoidance processes

Sarney, Pallas Heather Michelle (2012) The relationship between maladaptive schemas and binge eating in an overweight/obese community population: Mediating effects of depression and moderating effects of schema avoidance processes. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate whether schema-based, affect regulation models of binge eating that have been reported for eating disorder populations may generalise to non-clinical, overweight/obese binge eating populations. Forty-one overweight/obese adults were recruited from the community to complete a series of self-report questionnaires. The study examined associations between maladaptive schemas, depression, binge eating and schema avoidance processes in order to replicate and extend the results of prior research conducted with obese binge eating and eating disordered populations. It then tested two major mediation and moderation hypotheses to examine causal and interactive relationships between these variables as proposed by the models under investigation, specifically whether depression (as a measure of negative affect) mediated the relationship between maladaptive schemas and binge eating and whether schema avoidance processes moderated the same relationship. The study found the expected positive associations between variables in the models and found maladaptive schemas were a robust predictor of binge eating when other variables were controlled. The non-significant results produced from the mediation and moderation analyses were possibly due to insufficient sample size and are in need of replication. Results from the study provide support for the application of schema-based affect regulation models of disordered eating to overweight/obese binge eating populations. Providing schema-focussed cognitive-behavioural therapy for this group (in addition to other weight loss strategies) may be an effective way for clinicians to intervene to achieve reduced binge eating and subsequent improved weight loss outcomes.

Keywords: Obesity; Binge Eating; Schemas; Depression; Affect Regulation; Avoidance.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Johnstone, Kristy, Davis, Helen and Leach, David
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/41688
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