Negative affect and binge eating: Assessing the unique trajectories of negative affect before and after binge-eating episodes across eating disorder diagnostic classifications

Joseph A. Wonderlich, Ross D. Crosby, Scott G. Engel, Scott J. Crow, Carol B. Peterson, Daniel Le Grange, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Sarah Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) studies suggest that among individuals who binge eat, emotional states and binge eating are functionally related. However, it is unclear whether the trajectory of negative affect (NA) is the same across diagnostic groups or if specific changes in affect are unique to each diagnostic category. This study examined the moderating effect of diagnosis on the trajectory of negative affect before and after binge eating.

METHOD: Adults with eating disorder diagnoses (anorexia nervosa [AN] = 118, bulimia nervosa [BN] = 133, binge-eating disorder [BED] = 112) completed an EMA where they reported binge eating and negative affect throughout the day. Generalized estimating equation analyses were used to model the trajectories of NA before and after binge eating.

RESULTS: For all individuals, the linear trajectory of NA significantly increased before (B = 0.044, p < .001) and decreased following the binge-eating episode (B = -0.054, p < .001). However, diagnosis moderated this trajectory. Specifically, individuals with BN had a greater change in linear trajectories of NA before (B = 2.305, p < .001) and after (B = -4.149, p < .001) binge eating compared to those with BED, but not those with AN. There were no differences in the trajectory of NA between individuals with BED or AN.

DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that binge-eating episodes in BN may be more strongly associated with NA than in BED, but similar to binge-eating episodes in AN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): 2R01MH059674‐04A2, 1R01MH059674‐01A1, and R34MH098995. NIMH had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of results, or dissemination of findings.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Keywords

  • EMA
  • binge eating
  • dating disorders
  • negative affect

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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