Purpose: Binge eating is predicted by emotion dysregulation and poor emotional awareness. Dysfunctional metacognition is also implied in several eating disorders, but research has not yet investigated the interactions among emotional and metacognitive processes involved in binge eating. The present study investigated the relation between metacognition and binge eating in a sample of adolescents, testing the interaction effect between the need to control thoughts and the lack of emotional awareness on binge eating. Methods: Participants were 804 adolescents (age range 15–20; 49.7% female), who completed self-report instruments assessing binge eating, emotion regulation, and metacognition. Results: Binge eating was predicted by gender, BMI, emotion dysregulation, lack of emotional awareness, and dysfunctional metacognition dimensions (cognitive confidence and need to control thoughts). An important moderating effect was found, whereby the relationship between binge eating and lack of emotional awareness was only significant for individuals with a high need to control thoughts. Conclusions: Results described emotional and metacognitive functioning in binge eating adolescents, suggesting that the need to control thoughts is a risk factor, whereas good metacognitive competencies are protective from binge eating, even in presence of poor emotional awareness. Level of evidence: Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.
Laghi, F., Bianchi, D., Pompili, S., Lonigro, A., & Baiocco, R. (2018). Metacognition, emotional functioning and binge eating in adolescence: the moderation role of need to control thoughts. EATING AND WEIGHT DISORDERS, 23(6), 861-869 [10.1007/s40519-018-0603-1].