The purpose of this study was to test the impact of two variables on post-binge eating negative emotion in a combined sample of women with anorexia nervosa (AN; n = 47) and bulimia nervosa (BN; n = 121). Participants completed two weeks of an ecological momentary assessment protocol during which they provided multiple daily ratings of overall negative affect and guilt and reported eating disorder behaviors including binge eating and self-induced vomiting. The results indicate that both overall negative affect and guilt exhibited a statistically significantly decrease in the hour immediately following binge eating episodes. The decrease in guilt, but not overall negative affect, was moderated by eating disorder diagnosis and the tendency to engage in self-induced vomiting. Specifically, individuals with BN reported a greater reduction in guilt than those with AN, and individuals who did not typically engage in self-induced vomiting reported more decreases in guilt than those who typically engaged in self-induced vomiting. This study extends the existing literature on the relationship between negative affect and eating disorder behaviors, suggesting guilt as a potentially relevant facet of negative affect in the maintenance of binge eating. In addition, the findings indicate that two individual differences, eating disorder diagnosis and self-induced vomiting, may influence the trajectory of guilt following binge eating episodes.
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Ecological momentary assessment
- Negative affect