The moderating effects of self and other mentalizing on the relationship between distress and disordered eating: A cross-cultural examination

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Abstract

Objective: Cross-cultural comparisons that focus on underlying psychological mechanisms in disordered eating (DE) are lacking. With the aim of addressing this gap, we investigated the interplay between mentalizing, distress, and DE in two cultural groups: the ultra-Orthodox and secular Jewish societies in Israel. Method: A combination of performance-based and self-report measures of two mentalizing-related constructs (emotional awareness and alexithymia), along with self-report measures of distress, DE, and values preferences, were employed in a community sample (N = 300) of ultra-Orthodox and secular Jewish women. Results: Distress predicted DE in both cultural groups, yet there were cultural differences in the moderating role of mentalizing. Both mentalizing measures moderated the distress‒DE link in the secular group, but not in the ultra-Orthodox group. Furthermore, there were cultural differences in the moderating effects of self versus other mentalizing. Conclusions: The results suggest cultural differences in the underlying psychological mechanism of DE.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1937-1953
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume77
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • culture
  • disordered eating
  • distress
  • mentalizing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

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