In order to further explore the relationship between disgust sensitivity and eating disorder symptoms, 2 studies were carried out. In the first study, 352 higher education students (166 women, 186 men) completed a set of questionnaires measuring various aspects of disgust sensitivity and eating disorder symptoms. A correlational analysis revealed that there were few significant correlations between disgust scales and eating pathology scores. One exception was the relation between disgust sensitivity and external eating behavior, although this link only emerged in women. To investigate this relationship in more detail, Study 2 confronted women high (n = 29) and low (n = 30) on external eating behavior with a series of disgusting and neutral pictures. It was hypothesized that women who scored high on external eating would display shorter viewing times of disgusting pictures (i.e., show more avoidance behavior) than women scoring low on external eating. However, this hypothesis was not confirmed by the data. Altogether, the results of these studies suggest that there seems to be no convincing relationship between disgust sensitivity and eating disorder symptomatology, thereby casting doubts on the role of this individual difference factor in the development of eating pathology.

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Keywords Disgust sensitivity, Eating disorder symptoms, External eating behavior, adolescent, adult, article, avoidance behavior, eating disorder, emotion, feeding behavior, female, human, major clinical study, male, mental disease
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2007.11.007, hdl.handle.net/1765/14587
Citation
Mayer, B.N., Muris, P.E.H.M., Bos, A.E.R., & Suijkerbuijk, C.. (2008). Disgust sensitivity and eating disorder symptoms in a non-clinical population. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry: a journal of experimental psychopathology, 39(4), 504–514. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2007.11.007