Titolo della tesi: Perfectionism and eating disorder symptoms in adolescents and young adults: the mediating role of cognitive emotion regulation strategies
Perfectionism has been recognized as a core psychological construct remarkably relevant in the context of eating attitudes and behaviours, as well as in emotion regulation (ER) patterns. While multiple studies suggest that ER explains the relationship between perfectionism and various mental health symptoms, few is known about eating disturbances. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the relationship between perfectionistic aspects (perfectionistic strivings, PS; perfectionistic concerns, PC) and eating symptoms, considering the mediation role of cognitive ER strategies. Two different developmental samples (i.e. adolescents, young adults) were examined and compared in their levels of perfectionism, ER strategies and EDs symptoms. The associations of maladaptive (i.e. PC) and adaptive (i.e. PS) perfectionistic dimensions with eating symptoms via ER strategies was tested across the two sample through a multigroup mediation model. Results showed that maladaptive and adaptive CER significantly mediated the positive effect of PC on eating symptoms in both the groups. Moreover, the mediation of adaptive CER also explained the negative associations between PS and eating disturbances. On the other hand, the negative indirect effect of maladaptive CER strategies was found to be significant among young adults, otherwise nonsignificant among adolescents. Results suggested the detrimental nature of PC in emotional processes and eating domains. Furthermore, the protective buffering role of PS against the negative impact of maladaptive CER on eating symptoms was also supported and clinical implication were discussed.