The relationship between self-discrepancies, eating disorder and depressive symptoms in women.
Sawdon AM., Cooper M., Seabrook R.
OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relationship between generic self-discrepancies, eating disorder symptoms and depressive symptoms. METHOD: One hundred women volunteered to take part in the study. Each participant completed a self-discrepancy questionnaire and questionnaires related to eating disorder and depressive symptoms. RESULTS: Eating disorder and depressive symptoms were correlated with a number of self-discrepancies. The relationship between eating disorder symptoms and actual: future discrepancies, but not that with actual: potential discrepancies, was explained by its link with appearance related stimuli. When the effects of depressive symptoms were controlled, only the relationship between actual: potential discrepancies and eating disorder symptom remained significant. DISCUSSION: At least one generic self-discrepancy is related specifically to eating disorder rather than depressive symptoms. Implications of the findings for theory and clinical practice are briefly discussed.