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Psychology Doctoral Defense: Zahra Nazarimehrvarani

This is a past event.

Wednesday, March 29 at 11:00am to 1:00pm

DM - Deuxieme Maison, 258
11200 SW 8th ST 33199, Deuxieme Maison, Miami, Florida 33199

An Examination of the Interrelations Among Emotional Regulation, Orthorexia Nervosa, and Disordered Eating

Orthorexia nervosa, a pathological condition that is closely associated with eating disorders, can lead to nutritional deficiencies and more serious health-related complications. Despite the increasing scientific research about orthorexia nervosa, its classification and diagnostic criteria are not well-established. Also, it is still not clear whether the co-action and interactions of orthorexic behaviors with other factors increase the risks for individuals who are affected. The main purpose of this dissertation was to contribute to the understanding of orthorexia and explain how it is associated to emotion regulation and disordered eating.

More specifically, this dissertation is comprised of two studies. The first study of consisted of a scoping review that was aimed to examine the current literature on the association between emotion dysregulation and orthorexia nervosa. Using JBI methodology and PRISMA guidelines for scoping reviews, we have found and reviewed a total of nine studies that met our inclusion criteria. The results showed that all of the reviewed studies reported some level of significant association between difficulties with regulating emotions and orthorexic behaviors. It is suggested that individuals with poor emotion regulation may develop orthorexic tendencies as a strategy to minimize with their negative emotions. These findings emphasized the role of emotion dysregulation in association with orthorexia nervosa and more complicated conditions such as eating disorders.

The second study aimed to investigate the interrelations among emotion dysregulation, orthorexia nervosa, and disordered eating. Guided by our scoping review results, we expected to find significant associations among subscales of emotion dysregulation and orthorexia nervosa. Additionally, following extant literature, we predicted that difficulties in emotion regulation would be associated to disordered eating. Finally, it was hypothesized orthorexia nervosa would mediate the association between emotion dysregulation and disordered eating. A structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze a secondary data set collected from a large survey study (N = 1028). The results of the analyses showed that several subscales of emotion dysregulation were directly associated with the subscales of orthorexia nervosa and disordered eating. Additionally, our results demonstrated the mediating role of the subscales of orthorexia nervosa on the association between the subscales of emotion dysregulation and the subscales of disordered eating. Similar to previous findings, our results emphasized the effect of difficulties in emotion regulation on disordered eating and orthorexic behaviors. Our findings have implications for transdiagnostic prevention/intervention programs.

Major Professors: Dr. Leslie Frazier and Dr. Kyle Bennett


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Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public




Department of Psychology


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