Components of shame and eating disturbance among clinical and non-clinical populations

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between components of shame (characterological, behavioural and bodily) and eating disturbance.

METHOD: This was a cross sectional study of 859 female and 256 male participants from the general population [non-clinical (NCP)] and 167 female participants from an eating disordered population [clinical (CP)] completing the Experience of Shame Scale. The NCP samples also completed the Eating Attitudes Test-26, and the CP samples completed the Eating Disorder Risk Composite of the Eating Disorder Inventory-3. Participants were recruited via schools/colleges, eating disorder charities and the Internet.

RESULTS: Bodily and characterological shame were independently predictive of eating disturbance in female NCP samples (both, p < .001); bodily shame was uniquely predictive of eating disturbance for the male NCP (p < .05) and female CP samples (p < .001).

CONCLUSION: The aetiology of eating disturbance may be different for male and female NCP samples. The male NCP and the female CP samples displayed a similar pathway to eating disturbance. It is important to acknowledge the different components of shame associated with eating disturbance in different populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Image
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders/psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Shame
  • Young Adult


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