Eating disorders and intimate partner violence: the influence of fear of loneliness and social withdrawal

Momeñe, J., Estévez, A., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Macía, P., Herrero, M., Olave, L. and Iruarrizaga, I., 2022. Eating disorders and intimate partner violence: the influence of fear of loneliness and social withdrawal. Nutrients, 14 (13): 2611. ISSN 2072-6643

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Abstract

Eating disorders are vulnerability factors that increase the likelihood of intimate partner violence. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are unclear. Although eating disorders have been associated with increased perception and fear of loneliness, they have also been associated with increased social withdrawal resulting from decreased enjoyment of social situations and poorer social functioning. The purpose of the present study was to examine the mediating role of fear of loneliness in the relationship between the behavioural characteristics of eating disorders and intimate partner violence, as well as to explore the moderating role of social withdrawal in the relationship between fear of loneliness and intimate partner violence. The sample comprised 683 participants (78% female and 22% male) with a mean age of 21.14 years (SD = 2.72). The psychometric scales used were Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI 2), Emotional Dependency Questionnaire (EDQ), Coping Strategies Inventory (CSI) and the Violence Received, Exercised and Perceived in Youth and Adolescent Dating Relationships Scale (VREPS). The hypothesised model was tested by path analysis using maximum likelihood. The path analysis of the hypothesised model showed that inefficacy, fear of maturity, and impulsivity were the behavioural characteristics of eating disorders predominantly related to fear of loneliness. Fear of loneliness had no direct significant effect on any of the received violence variables. However, interaction effects indicated that there was a moderately significant effect of fear of loneliness on physical, psychological, and social violence received as a function of levels of social withdrawal. These findings show the need to take into account and work on fear of loneliness and social withdrawal among individuals with an eating disorder to decrease the likelihood of establishing violent intimate partner relationships. Improving interpersonal functioning and social support is key to recovery from eating disorders.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Nutrients
Creators: Momeñe, J., Estévez, A., Griffiths, M.D., Macía, P., Herrero, M., Olave, L. and Iruarrizaga, I.
Publisher: MDPI
Date: 24 June 2022
Volume: 14
Number: 13
ISSN: 2072-6643
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.3390/nu14132611DOI
1558044Other
Rights: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 28 Jun 2022 14:55
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2022 14:55
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46499

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