Cognitive Schemas and Eating Disorder Risk: the Role of Distress Tolerance

Lindsey Hovrud, Raluca Simons, Jeffrey Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The current study tested the role of distress tolerance between cognitive schemas (emotional inhibition, defectiveness/shame, social isolation, and insufficient self-control) and eating disorder (ED) risk in a sample of 469 college students via structural equation analysis. While research indicates maladaptive cognitive schemas are positively associated with dysregulated eating, mechanisms of this relationship are not well established. Distress tolerance has been consistently associated with bulimia behaviors and body dissatisfaction; however, few studies have evaluated the role of distress tolerance in relation to cognitive schemas. In the current study, distress tolerance mediated associations between specific schemas of social isolation and insufficient self-control and eating disorder risk. These findings provide preliminary evidence suggesting specific cognitive schemas may contribute to low distress tolerance, which increases risk of ED-related behaviors and cognitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Cognitive Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive schemas
  • Distress tolerance
  • Eating disorder risk
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotional dysregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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