Binge eating and emotional fluctuations: an ecological momentary assessment study
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The objective of current master’s thesis was to investigate the associations between emotional fluctuations and emotion regulation difficulties in predicting binge eating episodes in a general population study using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). In addition, emotional experience was assessed in order to compare the differential impact of binge eating with and without loss of control. The sample consisted of 97 women and 61 men in with a mean age of 22.35 (SD = 4.82). The gender differences in eating behavior were also of interest. The results pointed, that fluctuations in negative emotion did indeed predict binge eating with loss of control among both men and women. Among women, the emotion regulation difficulties, restrained eating, as well as the interaction of negative emotion fluctuations and emotion regulation difficulties were significant predictors. Among men, impulsivity predicted binge eating episodes with loss of control. Overall, binge eating with loss of control, compared to without loss of control, was significantly more associated with emotion regulation difficulties as well as increased negative emotions indicating the significance of loss of control in the assessment of eating pathology. It also appeared that women were considerably more sensitive to binge eating with loss of control as it resulted in greater levels of negative emotions, whereas among men this tendency was not found. In addition, binge eating without loss of control resulted in higher rates in several positive emotions both among men and women.