Associations between weight suppression and dimensions of eating disorder psychopathology in a multisite sample

Jason M. Lavender*, Jena A. Shaw, Ross D. Crosby, Emily H. Feig, James E. Mitchell, Scott J. Crow, Laura Hill, Daniel Le Grange, Pauline Powers, Michael R. Lowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Evidence suggests that weight suppression, the difference between an individual's highest historical body weight and current body weight, may play a role in the etiology and/or maintenance of eating disorders (EDs), and may also impact ED treatment. However, there are limited findings regarding the association between weight suppression and dimensions of ED psychopathology, particularly in multi-diagnostic ED samples. Participants were 1748 adults (94% female) from five sites with a variety of DSM-IV ED diagnoses who completed the Eating Disorder Questionnaire, a self-report measure of various attitudinal, behavioral, and medical features of EDs. Four factor analytically derived dimensions of ED psychopathology were examined: (a) weight/shape concerns, (b) binge eating/vomiting, (c) exercise/restrictive eating behaviors, and (d) weight control medication use. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine the unique association of weight suppression with each dimension (controlling for ED diagnosis and BMI), as well as the independent unique associations of three interactions: (a) weight suppression. ×. BMI, (b) weight suppression. ×. ED diagnosis, and (c) BMI. ×. ED diagnosis. Results revealed that weight suppression was uniquely associated with all of the ED psychopathology dimensions except binge eating/vomiting. The weight suppression × BMI interaction was significant only for weight/shape concerns, whereas the weight suppression. ×. ED diagnosis was not significant for any of the dimensions. Significant BMI. ×. ED diagnosis interactions were found for all dimensions except weight/shape concerns. Overall, the current results support the salience of weight suppression across multiple dimensions of ED psychopathology, with the exception of binge eating/vomiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Binge eating
  • Body image
  • Compensatory behaviors
  • Eating disorders
  • Weight suppression


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