Coping with shame and guilt following diet violation in restrained eaters



Lozinski, Elaina Julia

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University of Guelph


This thesis argues and tests for a distinction within the population of restrained eaters that accounts for their differing and inconsistent responses to diet violation observed outside of a laboratory setting. Online survey data was collected from 216 females and analyzed through structural equation modeling. High scores on each of the subscales in the Restraint Scale (Herman & Polivy, 1980) predict differing reactions and responses to diet violation illustrating a distinction within the restrained eating population. High concerns for dieting resulted in higher experienced guilt followed by a reliance on compensatory coping mechanisms such as strategizing to prevent future violations. In contrast, high weight fluctuation resulted in higher experienced shame and use of avoidance coping mechanisms such as bingeing. Future research must further consider additional distinctions within the restrained eating population, additional coping mechanisms, and the effect of possessing both high concerns for dieting and weight fluctuation.



distinction, restrained eaters, response, diet violation, shame, guilt