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Differences in emotion regulation difficulties among adults and adolescents across eating disorder diagnoses.


OBJECTIVE:Although much empirical attention has been devoted to emotion regulation (ER) in individuals with eating disorders, little is known about ER across a wide age range and among different ED subtypes. The current study sought to examine ER in a sample of eating disorder patients. METHOD:A total of 364 adults and adolescents with anorexia nervosa restricting subtype (AN-R), anorexia nervosa binge/purge subtype (AN-BP), or bulimia nervosa (BN) were assessed with the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). RESULTS:Older ages were associated with higher DERS total, nonacceptance, goals, and impulsivity scores. When controlling for age, patients with BN and AN-BP had higher overall DERS scores than those with AN, and there were some differences among diagnostic subtypes on specific facets of ER. CONCLUSIONS:These results indicate that treatments for emotion dysregulation may be applied across eating disorder diagnoses and ages, and inform how these strategies apply to different diagnostic groups.

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