Purpose: Although drunkorexia seems to represent a new form of eating disorder, it shares several features with traditional eating disorders. However, very little is known about the association between drunkorexia and a widely studied correlate of eating disorders, such as psychological distress and about mechanisms underlying this association. The present study aimed to investigate the relation between symptoms of anxiety and depression and drunkorexia, and to explore the role of emotional dysregulation as moderator of this relationship. Methods: The sample was composed of 402 adolescents (222 females, 180 males; range 15–21) who completed self-reported measures: Drunkorexia Motives and Behaviors Scale, which assesses different behaviors and motivations associated with drunkorexia, Emotional dysregulation scale from the Eating Disorder Inventory-3, reflecting difficulties regulating emotions, and Anxiety and Depression scales from the Symptom CheckList-90 Revised, assessing general signs of anxious and depressive symptoms. Results: Anxious symptomatology resulted a significant statistical predictor of drunkorexia behaviors (β =.28, p =.001). Furthermore, emotional dysregulation moderated the relation between anxiety and drunkorexia; specifically, a positive relation was found both at medium levels (β =.22, p =.007) and at higher levels of emotional dysregulation (β =.38, p =.000), whereas at lower levels of emotional dysregulation, this association became nonsignificant. Conclusions: Findings suggest that adolescents who experience both elevated anxiety and emotional dysregulation may be more likely to turn to drunkorexia to reduce their unregulated negative affect in the absence of more adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Implications for intervention and prevention programs are discussed. Level of evidence: Level V, descriptive study.
Laghi, F., Pompili, S., Bianchi, D., Lonigro, A., Baiocco, R. (2021). Exploring the association between psychological distress and drunkorexia behaviors in non-clinical adolescents: the moderating role of emotional dysregulation. EATING AND WEIGHT DISORDERS, 26(3), 797-806 [10.1007/s40519-020-00912-9].