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Title: Mindfulness and eating disorders: A network analysis.
Authors: Sala, Margaret
Vanzhula, Irina
Roos, Corey R.
Levinson, Cheri A.
Keywords: mindfulness
anorexia nervosa
bulimia nervosa
binge eating disorder
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Sala, M., Vanzhula, I., Roos, C. R., & Levinson, C. A. (2022). Mindfulness and eating disorders: A network analysis.. Behavior Therapy, 53(2), 224–239.
Series/Report no.: Behavior Therapy;
Abstract: Higher trait mindfulness may be protective against eating disorder (ED) pathology. However, little is understood about which specific mindfulness processes connect to specific ED symptoms. This study (N = 1,056 undergraduates) used network analysis at the symptom/process level to identify: (1) central nodes, or symptoms/processes with the greatest collective connection with all other symptoms/processes; and (2) bridge nodes, or symptoms/processes driving interconnection between mindfulness processes and ED symptoms. We conducted analyses both with and without food- and body-related mindfulness items. Central nodes included: describing how one feels in detail, expressing how one feels in words, and feeling guilty about eating due to shape/weight. Bridge nodes connecting higher mindfulness processes with lower ED symptoms included: the eating disorder symptom, being uncomfortable about others seeing one eat, and the mindfulness process, not criticizing oneself for having irrational/inappropriate emotions. Bridge nodes connecting higher mindfulness processes with higher ED symptoms included: noticing sensations of the body moving when walking and noticing how food/drinks affect thoughts, bodily sensations, and emotions. Findings suggest that future research should explore whether mindfulness-based interventions for EDs may be more effective by targeting mindfulness processes related to describing, expressing, and accepting emotions, accepting discomfort when eating with others, and reducing hyper-focus on and reactivity to food-and-body related sensations.
Description: Scholarly article
ISSN: 0005-7894
Appears in Collections:Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology: Faculty Publications

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