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Exploring the role of Emotional Intelligence on disorder eating psychopathology

Foye, U. ORCID: 0000-0002-3414-2854, Hazlett, D. E. & Irving, P. (2018). Exploring the role of Emotional Intelligence on disorder eating psychopathology. Eating and Weight Disorders-Studies on Anorexia Bulimia and Obesity, doi: 10.1007/s40519-018-0629-4


Purpose: This study aims to explore the role of emotional intelligence (EI) and specific facets that may underpin the aetiology of disordered eating attitudes and behaviours, as a means to understand what aspects of these deficits to target within treatments.

Methods: Participants were recruited from the UK and Ireland. Among the sample of 355 participants, 84% were women and 16% were men. Regarding age, 59% were between 18 and 29, 30% were between 30 and 49, and 11% were 50 or older. Using a cross-sectional design, participants completed the Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test to measure levels of trait EI and The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) as a measure of eating disorder risk and presence of disordered eating attitudes.

Results: EAT-26 scores were negatively correlated with total EI scores and with the following EI subscales: appraisal of own emotions, regulation of emotions, utilization of emotions, and optimism. Also, compared to those without an eating disorder history, participants who reported having had an eating disorder had significantly lower total EI scores and lower scores on four EI subscales: appraisal of others emotions, appraisal of own emotions, regulation of emotions, and optimism.

Conclusions: Considering these findings, EI (especially appraisal of own emotions, regulation of emotions, and optimism) may need to be addressed by interventions and treatments for eating disorders.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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