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There is growing recognition that impulsivity may serve as an underlying risk factor for binge eating. In addition, the association of impulsivity with binge eating may be moderated by other affective and cognitive risk factors. This study examined independent and interactive associations of negative affect, dietary restraint, and facets of impulsivity with binge eating. A diverse sample of 566 undergraduate women completed online questionnaires of study variables. Results revealed a three-way interaction of negative affect, dietary restraint, and attentional impulsivity in relation to binge eating. Women who were high on each of these three variables reported the greatest levels of binge eating. In addition, a two-way interaction was found for negative affect and nonplanning impulsivity in relation to binge eating, such that nonplanning impulsivity strengthened the association between negative affect and binge eating. Attentional and nonplanning facets of impulsivity may function as an underlying trait-level risk factor interacts with affective and/or cognitive risk (e.g., negative affect, dietary restraint) factors to predict elevated binge eating.


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Original Publication Citation

Mason, T. B., Smith, K. E., Lavender, J. M., & Lewis, R. J. (2018). Independent and interactive associations of negative affect, restraint, and impulsivity in relation to binge eating among women. Appetite, 121, 147-153.