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Title: Approach biases to food cues in eating disordered and healthy control populations : associations with bingeing and restrictive symptomatology
Author: Peers, R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 5973
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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Introduction: There is mixed evidence regarding the association between eating disorders (EDs) and approach biases to food cues. Aim: To clarify the association between EDs and approach biases on an irrelevant Stimulus Response Compatibility (SRC) Task and investigate the role of bingeing and restraint symptomatology amongst an ED sample (OSFED) relative to healthy controls. Hypotheses: 1) Higher levels of bingeing symptomatology will predict an approach bias for high calorie food; 2) Higher levels of restraint symptomatology will predict 'reduced' approach biases for high calorie foods; 3) These associations with be exaggerated in the ED sample, relative to the healthy controls. Method: Participants were recruited from a university (N=69) and two ED clinics (N=13). Participants completed the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire and Binge Eating Scale and then completed the SRC task. Results: Analysis of the healthy controls data only (due to difficulties in recruitment) indicated that bingeing and restricting symptomatology did not predict approach biases for high calorie stimuli. Group differences in task performance were found. Between groups differences indicated that the healthy controls displayed higher approach bias scores, relative to the ED sample and this was not moderated by stimulus type. Within group analyses indicated that healthy controls displayed significant approach biases for high and low calorie food items, but the ED sample did not. Conclusions: The main hypotheses of the study were not supported, however, this study is limited by the small sample size. Future research is required to establish if a link does exist between bingeing/ restraint symptomatology and approach biases.
Supervisor: Hardman, Charlotte ; Field, Matt Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral