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Publication - Dr Angela Rowe

    Disinhibited eating mediates differences in attachment insecurity between bariatric surgery candidates/ recipients and lean controls.

    Citation

    Wilkinson, L, Rowe, A, sheldon, C, Johnson, A & Brunstrom, J, 2017, ‘Disinhibited eating mediates differences in attachment insecurity between bariatric surgery candidates/ recipients and lean controls.’. International Journal of Obesity.

    Abstract

    Previous research has shown that attachment anxiety is a good predictor of body mass index (BMI). This relationship is significantly mediated by disinhibited (over-) eating and is likely to reflect a specific form of affect regulation. This study explored whether obese bariatric surgery candidates (BSC; N = 34) and bariatric surgery recipients (BSR; N = 15) would show higher levels of attachment insecurity (higher attachment anxiety and/or higher attachment avoidance) than a group of age and gender-matched lean controls (N = 54). Mediation analyses showed that compared to lean controls (M = 2.96, SE = .1), both BSC (M = 3.5, SE = .2) and BSR (M = 3.4, SE = .2) groups had a more insecure attachment orientation. These relationships were significantly mediated by disinhibited eating (BSC: LLCI = .06 & ULCI = .62; BSR: LLCI = .02 & ULCI = .76). There was no such relationship when the BSC and BSR groups were compared (LLCI = -.15 & ULCI = .3). These observations suggest that attachment insecurity may be a risk factor for obesity and bariatric surgery because of associated disinhibited eating. Moreover, these factors may be important to consider when bariatric surgery results in poor outcomes.

    Full details in the University publications repository