Kindness toward One's Self and Body: Exploring Mediational Pathways between Early Memories and Disordered Eating

Cláudia Ferreira, Sara Oliveira, Ana Laura Mendes
2017 The Spanish Journal of Psychology  
Recent literature has emphasized the role played by early emotional experiences on body image and eating-related psychopathology. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying the link between positive rearing experiences and eating psychopathology remain scarcely explored. Thus, this study aimed to explore a model in which it was hypothesized that early emotional experiences, characterized by warmth, safeness, and soothing, are negatively associated with disordered eating through higher levels of
more » ... f-compassion and a more positive and caring relationship with one's own body. The study's sample comprised 490 women who completed an Internet based survey comprising self-report measures of interest. Path analysis' results revealed that self-compassion and body appreciation fully mediated the impact of early positive emotional memories on eating psychopathology, when controlling the effect of age and Body Mass Index. The plausibility of the path model was examined by the Chi-Square and the several fit indicators which revealed a very good fit, accounting for 49% of eating psychopathology's variance. Specifically, results demonstrated that 13% of self-compassion's variance was explained by positive early emotional memories. Also, early positive memories showed both direct and indirect (via self-compassion) positive effects on body appreciation, accounting for 34% of its variance. Additionally, results revealed that positive early emotional experiences predicted lower levels of disordered eating, via higher levels of self-compassion and body appreciation. By emphasizing the importance role of self-compassion and body appreciation against body image and eating psychopathology, the current study may offer important insights for future research and for the development of intervention programs.
doi:10.1017/sjp.2017.50 pmid:29056099 fatcat:fnky5ono2bccdgb54bejhgvh5a