Attachment Anxiety is Associated with Restrictive Eating via Low Global Self-Esteem and Appearance Overvaluation

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Allan, Alexandra Marie




This research explored the relationship between attachment, appearance overvaluation, global self-esteem, and restrictive eating in a secondary analysis of a community sample of undergraduate women. Participants (N = 527) completed the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire (Lafontaine et al., 2016), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1965), Beliefs About Appearance Scale (Spangler & Stice, 2001), and the restriction subscale of the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q; Fairburn & Beglin, 1994). A serial mediation analysis was conducted to examine associations between these variables. Women higher in attachment anxiety reported greater appearance overvaluation, via lower global self-esteem, and reported more restrictive eating through lower global self-esteem and higher appearance overvaluation. Attachment avoidance was not related to appearance overvaluation or restrictive eating but was associated with lower global self-esteem. These results may inform prevention efforts, by identifying individuals with attachment anxiety, who may be more vulnerable to low global self-esteem, appearance overvaluation, and restrictive eating.






Carleton University

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