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iDEA: Drexel E-repository and Archives > Drexel Theses and Dissertations > Drexel Theses and Dissertations > Drive for thinness is not the same as drive to be thin: on the motivation for dieting in normal weight restrained eaters and bulimic individuals

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2758

Title: Drive for thinness is not the same as drive to be thin: on the motivation for dieting in normal weight restrained eaters and bulimic individuals
Authors: Chernyak, Yelena
Keywords: Clinical Psychology;Weight loss--Psychological aspects;Eating disorders--Psychological aspects
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2008
Abstract: Drive for thinness has been implicated as an etiological factor for the development of disordered eating. However, existing measures of this construct, such as the EDI-2 Drive for Thinness scale (DFT), appear to measure a desire to be thinner, but not the radical dieting mentality thought to contribute to the development of disordered eating. This study developed a Drive to be Thin (DTBT) scale to assess desire to be objectively thin (15% below ideal BMI); it excluded items regarding fear of fatness or avoidance of weight gain. DTBT items were judged for suitability by eating disorder experts and a Cronbach’s alpha was calculated (∞=.947). The association between DTBT, DFT, and fear of fatness (GFFS) as motivations for dieting was investigated in 64 unrestrained and restrained eaters (RE&URE) identified by the Herman and Polivy Restraint Scale and 22 females with Bulimia Nervosa (BN) or EDNOS-BN. A mixed model ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between group and motivation to diet. DFT and GFFS were significantly greater in REs compared to UREs, while DTBT was low in both. The traditional assumption that normal weight REs drive for thinness reflects an unhealthy need to be skinny appears to be incorrect. Instead, they appear to be motivated to diet mostly by a fear of fatness. This is consistent with a predisposition toward weight gain in REs and our previously proposed hypothesis that restraint represents a proxy risk factor for weight gain. On DTBT, BN had significantly higher scores than REs. Both GFFS and DTBT were elevated in BN, suggesting that bulimic individuals are highly motivated by both a fear of fatness and a drive to be thin, unlike REs who are only motivated by a fear of fatness. For BN, both a fear of fatness and a drive to be thin may motivate unhealthy dieting and eating disordered behavior.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2758
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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