The effect of induced stress on the relationship between perfectionism and unhealthy eating attitudes

  • C. J. Jones
  • G. Harris
  • N. Leung
  • J. Blissett
  • C. Meyer
Brief Report


It has previously been shown that stress situations reveal an association between perfectionism and unhealthy eating attitudes in nonclinical females. The present study aimed to extend these findings by also measuring psychological and physiological reactions to induced stress. Forty-two female university students completed measures of state anxiety, perfectionism and unhealthy eating attitudes on two occasions: an average day and after a task designed to induce stress. Physiological responses to stress were measured before, and immediately after the task. Whilst Body Dissatisfaction was associated with aspects of perfectionism both at baseline and immediately after the stress task, Drive for Thinness was only associated with Concern over Mistakes and Personal Standards after the task. These findings confirm previous work showing that stress encourages a relationship between disturbed eating behaviours and perfectionism and therefore, have implications for prevention and early intervention programmes for eating disorders.

Key words

Perfectionism stress eating 


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Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Jones
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Harris
    • 1
  • N. Leung
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Blissett
    • 1
  • C. Meyer
    • 4
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical PsychologyOxfordUK
  3. 3.Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS TrustBirminghamUK
  4. 4.Department of Human SciencesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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