From childhood emotional maltreatment to disordered eating: A path analysis.

Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 40(2), Apr 2023, 90-98; doi:10.1037/pap0000438

Childhood emotional maltreatment (i.e., emotional abuse and emotional neglect), attachment, reflective functioning (RF), defense styles, and disordered eating (DE) are associated with each other. … We found significant indirect effects between emotional abuse and neglect and DE via attachment insecurities (anxiety and avoidance), low RF, and neurotic and immature defense styles in females. In addition, neurotic and immature defense styles and RF mediated the relationship between emotional neglect, attachment anxiety, and DE, in males. The findings supported the hypothesized model of risk factors for DE and provided additional insight into mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood emotional maltreatment and DE. …

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