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, 67 (5), 765-75

Hypersensitivity to Social Interactions in Bulimic Syndromes: Relationship to Binge Eating

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Hypersensitivity to Social Interactions in Bulimic Syndromes: Relationship to Binge Eating

H Steiger et al. J Consult Clin Psychol.

Abstract

This study used a 6- to 22-day experience-sampling procedure to test for hypersensitivity to social interactions in bulimic individuals. Ratings on daily social interactions, self-concepts, moods, and eating behaviors from 55 actively bulimic, 18 formerly bulimic, and 31 noneating-disordered women were obtained. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses showed negative social interactions to be associated with significant increases in self-criticism (SC) and deteriorations in mood in all participants. However, bulimic participants (active or in remission) showed larger increases in SC following negative social interactions than did normal eaters (and thus seemed to be hypersensitive to interpersonal experiences). Additional analyses indicated that binge episodes tended to be preceded by poorer than average social experiences, self-concepts, and moods and followed by deteriorations in self-concept, mood, and social perception. The authors discuss possible perpetuating influences of interpersonal sensitivity in bulimic syndromes.

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