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    Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) individuals generally experience eating disorders at higher rates than heterosexual individuals. While there is limited research examining why LGB individuals experience higher levels of eating pathology, emotion regulation (ER) deficits have been associated with higher rates of other forms of psychopathology in this population. The present study examined the impact of specific ER deficits on the relationship between LGB status and eating pathology. We hypothesized that 1) LGB individuals would report higher levels of ER deficits, and 2) ER deficits would mediate the relationship between LGB status and eating pathology. Participants were 195 LGB and 193 heterosexual adults recruited via mTurk who completed self-report measures of eating pathology and ER deficits. One-way ANCOVA analyses revealed that LGB individuals reported higher levels of ER deficits compared to heterosexuals for all DERS subscales except for DERS-Awareness. Nearly all DERS subscales (DERS-Nonacceptance, DERS-Goals, DERS-Strategies, DERS-Impulse) significantly mediated the relationship between LGB status and eating pathology. Consistent with our hypotheses, LGB individuals reported higher levels of ER deficits compared to heterosexuals and specific ER deficits partially accounted for the relationship between LGB status and eating pathology. Future research should utilize longitudinal designs to examine whether the ER deficits identified in the present study prospectively predict eating pathology. Considering the immense mental health burden placed on the LGB community, it is essential that research continue to identify the unique needs of LGB individuals to more effectively treat and prevent psychopathology, including eating disorders, in this population. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Citation

    Lindsay M Gillikin, Stephanie M Manasse, Ilana Seager van Dyk. An examination of emotion regulation as a mechanism underlying eating disorder pathology in lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Eating behaviors. 2021 Apr;41:101508


    PMID: 33901798

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