ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 4, Issue 5, 529-545, 2013
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Emotion Regulation and its Influence on Body-Related Distress in Overweight Women

Jennifer Svaldi(a), Eva Naumann(a), Monika Trentowska(a), Helmut K. Lackner(b) & Brunna Tuschen-Caffier(a)
(a) Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
(b) Institute of Physiology, Center of Physiological Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Volume 4, Issue 5, 2013, Pages 529-545

Overweight and obese individuals are at greater risk for the development of a major depressive disorder. A main factor contributing to negative affect in obese women is body-related worrying. Given the potential benefits of various emotion regulation (ER) strategies in the modification of negative affect, the aim of the present study was to test whether experimentally-induced body dissatisfaction can be modified by ER strategies in obese women. Body dissatisfaction was experimentally induced in a group of 37 obese women using model pictures. Following this, participants were randomly assigned to two different ER strategies: rumination on present emotions and thoughts, or acceptance of whatever thoughts and feelings come up. Weight and appearance satisfaction, distress about body feelings and mood were assessed both prior to, immediately after, and 4 min after the induction. Psychophysiological parameters were assessed continuously. The main results reveal that after the use of ER strategies, weight and appearance satisfaction returned to baseline levels. However, in the rumination condition, distress about body feelings remained above and mood below baseline. In the acceptance condition distress and mood returned to baseline levels. The results are discussed in terms of the usefulness of ER strategies with regard to reducing body-related distress.

Table of Contents
Induction of body dissatisfaction.
Emotion regulation instructions.
Emotion regulation compliance scale.
Assessment of weight and appearance satisfaction.
Assessment of distress about body feelings.
Assessment of mood.
Data reduction
Statistical analyses
Induction manipulation check (measurements t0 to t1)
Self-report measures.
Psychophysiological measures.
Strategy compliance
Effects of emotion regulation induction on self-report variables
Effects of emotion regulation induction on physiological variables
References Appendix

Correspondence to
Jennifer Svaldi, University of Freiburg, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Engelbergerstrasse 41, 79106 Freiburg, Germany

body dissatisfaction; obesity; overweight; emotion regulation; rumination; acceptance; sympathetic activity; vagal activity; heart rate.

Received 14 May 2012; Revised 5 Oct 2012; Accepted 18 Nov 2012; In Press 21 Jul 2013

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