Mediating social anxiety and disordered eating: The role of expressive suppression

Carmen P. McLean, Nathan A. Miller, Debra A. Hope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Social anxiety and disordered eating frequently overlap, and evidence suggests that emotional suppression may be an important mediating factor. The present study examines the relationships among social anxiety, emotional suppression, and disordered eating in a non-clinical sample of 160 undergraduate women. Participants completed self-report measures for social anxiety, disordered eating, expressive suppression, depression, and negative affect. Results from mediation analyses indicate that the relationship between social anxiety and disordered eating is fully mediated by expressive suppression. Findings are consistent with a displacement theory in which unexpressed negative affect is shifted towards the body, thereby promoting symptoms of disordered eating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalEating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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