Category: Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders
Bulimia (BN) and anorexia nervosa (AN) commonly co-occur with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), and these comorbidities are linked with reduced functioning, lower insight, and more service utilization. Research has largely examined this overlap using discrete diagnostic groups, which do not take into account the elevated co-occurrence among these syndromes at the subclinical level. Due to the growing emphasis on dimensional assessment of psychological symptoms, we examined the associations between BDD symptoms and eating pathology (i.e., bulimia symptoms and drive for thinness) in individuals with appearance concerns, whose symptoms ranged from nonclinical to clinically-significant. Given that negative affect and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies have been independently implicated in BDD, BN, and AN, we also investigated (1) whether BDD symptoms, bulimia, and drive for thinness were uniquely associated with cognitive factors relevant to emotional responding (anxiety sensitivity (AS), distress tolerance (DT), and negative urgency), and (2) whether BDD symptoms interacted with these cognitive factors to predict eating pathology. A sample of N=235 individuals from Mechanical Turk completed a survey about eating pathology, BDD symptoms, AS, DT, and negative urgency. Greater BDD symptoms were associated with greater bulimic symptoms (r=.36, pr=.46, pppppppp=.41), levels of AS. BDD symptoms also interacted with negative urgency to predict bulimic symptoms (β=.16, pp=.001), but not low (β=.04, p=.69), levels of negative urgency. BDD symptoms did not interact with DT to predict eating pathology. Following replication in clinical samples, future studies should examine the potential benefit of targeting AS, DT, and negative urgency in transdiagnostic interventions for body image disturbance.
Ashley Shaw– Graduate Student, University of Miami; Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Hollywood, Florida
Kimberly Arditte Hall– Advanced Research Fellow in Women's Mental Health, National Center for PTSD/VA Boston Healthcare System; Boston University School of Medicine
Kiara Timpano– Assistant Professor, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
University of Miami; Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Advanced Research Fellow in Women's Mental Health
National Center for PTSD/VA Boston Healthcare System; Boston University School of Medicine