Examining the role of self-discrepancy and self-directed style in bulimia nervosa

Tyler B. Mason, Carolyn M. Pearson, Jason M. Lavender, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Ross D. Crosby, Ann L. Erickson, James E. Mitchell, Scott J. Crow, Tracey L. Smith, Marjorie H. Klein, Carol B. Peterson

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Abstract

Two of the primary components within Integrative Cognitive Affective Therapy (ICAT) are self-discrepancy and self-directed style. Self-discrepancy includes both actual:ideal (discrepancy between oneself and who one wishes they were) and actual:ought (discrepancy between oneself and who one believes they ought to be). Self-directed style in ICAT refers to a variety of behaviors emitted by a person toward the self including self-blaming and self-affirming. This study explored main effects and interactions between self-discrepancy and self-directed style in relation to global eating disorder (ED) psychopathology, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. Eighty treatment-seeking adults from the Midwest with BN or subthreshold BN completed interviews and self-report measures. Self-affirm and self-blame were associated with ED psychopathology, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. Actual:ideal discrepancy was related to anxiety and actual:ought discrepancy was related to anxiety and depressive symptoms. Interactions were found between self-affirm and actual:ought discrepancy as well as self-blame and actual:ought discrepancy for depressive symptoms. High actual:ought was related to increased depressive symptoms regardless of levels of self-affirm or self-blame. Effect sizes for models were medium-to-large with anxiety models demonstrating the largest effects. This study provides further evidence supporting the ICAT model and treatment, which targets self-discrepancies, self-directed styles, and related emotional states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-299
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume244
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2016

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Keywords

  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Integrative cognitive affective therapy
  • Self-directed style
  • Self-discrepancy

Cite this

Mason, T. B., Pearson, C. M., Lavender, J. M., Wonderlich, S. A., Crosby, R. D., Erickson, A. L., Mitchell, J. E., Crow, S. J., Smith, T. L., Klein, M. H., & Peterson, C. B. (2016). Examining the role of self-discrepancy and self-directed style in bulimia nervosa. Psychiatry Research, 244, 294-299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.07.056