Selflessness and perfectionism as predictors of pathological eating attitudes and disorders: A longitudinal study

Eytan Bachar*, Eitan Gur, Laura Canetti, Elliot Berry, Daniel Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the role that selflessness and perfectionism may play as possible predictors of pathological eating attitudes and eating disorders (ED). 1057 schoolgirls (seventh to ninth grade) participated in the initial screening phase. They were administered the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), Selflessness Scale (SS) and Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS). Based on their EAT-26 scores, 150 girls were invited to a clinical interview 2 years later (second phase). In the third phase 4 years later, 243 girls who completed the questionnaires in the seventh grade were the target of re-administration of these scales. Seventh-grade selflessness scores at initial screening phase predicted ED status determined in clinical interview at the 2-year interval and abnormal eating attitudes at the 4-year interval, above and beyond baseline seventh-grade eating-attitude scores. Perfectionism was not found to predict the development of neither ED nor abnormal eating attitudes. Preventional and therapeutic implications of the role of selflessness as a predisposing factor for ED are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)496-506
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • eating disorders
  • perfectionism
  • prospective longitudinal study
  • risk factor
  • selflessness

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