The independent and combined effect of personality and coping style on eating related outcomes in young women.
A.L. Russell-Pavier - Dissertation.doc (414.5Kb)
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Russell-Pavier, Anna Louise
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Objective: The objectives of the present study were to examine whether personality factors and coping methods can predict attitudes towards eating and patterns of eating behaviour among young women. In addition, it was aimed to investigate a mediation effect of coping on the effect of personality on eating related outcomes. Method: The sample comprised 115 females (mean age 21.34 years) who volunteered to participate. Measures included were Weight Perception Items, the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ), Kristal Food Habits, Block Fats, Block Fibre, the COPE coping inventory and the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP). Results: Correlations were found between personality factors and coping methods, personality factors and eating attitudes and coping methods and eating attitudes. Multiple linear regressions revealed Emotional Stability and Avoidance Coping to consistently and independently predict Emotional Eating outcomes and External Eating. Regression analyses to test the mediation hypothesis indicated Avoidance coping to be a mediator of the effect of Conscientiousness on Emotional Eating outcomes. Discussion: The significant correlations found between personality, coping methods and eating related outcomes supported the hypotheses and were discussed in relation to previous literature. The novel finding that Avoidance Coping mediates the effect of Conscientiousness on Emotional Eating outcomes has many implications for understanding and taking steps towards preventing the development of unhealthy eating attitudes and behaviour. Suggestions for future research and extensions of the present results have been made.