Examining the role of self-discrepancy and self-directed style in bulimia nervosa

Tyler B. Mason, Carolyn M. Pearson, Jason M. Lavender, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Ross D. Crosby, Ann L. Erickson, James E. Mitchell, Scott J. Crow, Tracey L. Smith, Marjorie H. Klein, Carol B. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two of the primary components within Integrative Cognitive Affective Therapy (ICAT) are self-discrepancy and self-directed style. Self-discrepancy includes both actual:ideal (discrepancy between oneself and who one wishes they were) and actual:ought (discrepancy between oneself and who one believes they ought to be). Self-directed style in ICAT refers to a variety of behaviors emitted by a person toward the self including self-blaming and self-affirming. This study explored main effects and interactions between self-discrepancy and self-directed style in relation to global eating disorder (ED) psychopathology, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. Eighty treatment-seeking adults from the Midwest with BN or subthreshold BN completed interviews and self-report measures. Self-affirm and self-blame were associated with ED psychopathology, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. Actual:ideal discrepancy was related to anxiety and actual:ought discrepancy was related to anxiety and depressive symptoms. Interactions were found between self-affirm and actual:ought discrepancy as well as self-blame and actual:ought discrepancy for depressive symptoms. High actual:ought was related to increased depressive symptoms regardless of levels of self-affirm or self-blame. Effect sizes for models were medium-to-large with anxiety models demonstrating the largest effects. This study provides further evidence supporting the ICAT model and treatment, which targets self-discrepancies, self-directed styles, and related emotional states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-299
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume244
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Grants R34MH077571 and T32MH082761 from the National Institute of Mental Health . The research here was supported in part by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Dr. T. L. Smith is the Associate Director for Improving Clinical Care, VA South Central Mental Illness Research, Education & Clinical Center at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness & Safety (IQuEST; CIN 13-413), Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston Texas. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Integrative cognitive affective therapy
  • Self-directed style
  • Self-discrepancy

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