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The Role of Parenting Style, Maladaptive Schemas, and Experiential Avoidance in Predicting Disordered Eating

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Title: The Role of Parenting Style, Maladaptive Schemas, and Experiential Avoidance in Predicting Disordered Eating
Author: Deveau, Stephanie A.
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Grand, Michael
Abstract: Harsh and punitive parenting styles have been historically associated with the development of eating pathology. More recently, early maladaptive schemas and experiential avoidance have also been implicated in disordered eating. Maladaptive schemas are cognitive scripts that are theorized to be learned within maladaptive environments and repeated throughout an individual’s life. Experiential avoidance involves a tendency to avoid negative emotional experiences through maladaptive strategies. Both maladaptive schemas and experiential avoidance have been implicated in the development of many psychological issues, including eating pathology. The current study attempts to bridge these bodies of literature to develop a model in which cognitive and emotional processes relate to perceived maladaptive parenting styles and the development of eating pathology. Two studies are presented within the current dissertation. The first is a survey based quantitative study that assesses the influence of perceived authoritarian parenting style on the development of binge and restrictive eating pathology. This study examines the mediating role of maladaptive schemas and the moderating role of experiential avoidance. Results of the study demonstrate that specific maladaptive schemas (i.e., mistrust/abuse, emotional deprivation, and defectiveness/shame) mediate the relation between perceived authoritarian parenting and restrictive eating, particularly for those participants with higher levels of experiential avoidance. A different set of maladaptive schemas (i.e., defectiveness/shame, subjugation, and insufficient self-control/self-discipline) was found to significantly mediate the relation between perceived authoritarian parenting and binge eating pathology. Within this model however, low levels of experiential avoidance did not mitigate the effects of maladaptive schemas on the development of binge eating. Using a thematically driven exploratory qualitative analysis in the second study, similar themes were observed in a series of interviews, highlighting the influence of parenting style, participant characteristics, and specific food/weight related issues in the development of disordered eating. New and interesting themes not addressed within Study 1 emerged, providing insight relevant to future clinical and theoretical work. The results of both studies emphasize the role of particular cognitive and emotional factors in the development of different forms of eating pathology. Implications for theory and clinical practice are discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/7282
Date: 2013-07
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada


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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada