Fear of negative evaluation among eating disorders: Examining the association with weight/shape concerns in adolescence.Int J Eat Disord. 2019 03; 52(3):261-269.IJ
Fear of negative evaluation has been proposed as a transdiagnostic factor associated with the development of eating disorders and has been shown to relate to disorders of body image, especially those with weight/shape concerns such as eating disorders and muscle dysmorphia. The current study aimed to investigate whether fear of negative evaluation was a transdiagnostic factor of disorders diagnostically characterized by weight/shape concerns. The study examined whether fear of negative evaluation was associated with higher odds for meeting criteria for an eating disorder and/or muscle dysmorphia, especially those disorders diagnostically characterized by weight/shape concerns.
Data were used from a subgroup of the first wave of the EveryBODY study, a longitudinal investigation of eating disorders and body image concerns among Australian adolescents (N = 4,030). Participants completed measures on demographics, weight/shape concerns, disordered eating, psychological distress, muscularity concerns, and fear of negative evaluation.
Findings revealed that fear of negative evaluation was associated with higher odds of meeting criteria for any eating disorder but significantly more so for those characterized by weight/shape concerns diagnostically, as well as binge-eating disorder. Similar results were found for muscle dysmorphia.
The findings suggest that fear of negative evaluation constitutes a transdiagnostic feature for developing and/or maintaining an eating disorder.