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Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030517

Longitudinal Associations between Emotion Regulation and Adiposity in Late Adolescence: Indirect Effects through Eating Behaviors

1
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), Greensboro, NC 27412, USA
2
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), Greensboro, NC 27412, USA
3
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), Greensboro, NC 27412, USA
4
Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, University of Zurich, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland
5
Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), Greensboro, NC 27412, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Intake and Human Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [421 KB, uploaded 28 February 2019]   |  

Abstract

The prevalence of obesity among U.S. youth continues to increase, with many adolescents engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors. Increasingly, research points to the role of self-regulation in obesity development, yet existing work has largely focused on young children and/or clinical adult populations. This multi-method longitudinal study (N = 153) utilized a path analysis to delineate links between emotion regulation (age 15), emotional eating and dietary restraint (age 16), and adiposity (% body fat) using a BodPod for body composition assessment (age 19). Emotion regulation was negatively associated with emotional eating (β = −0.30, p < 0.001) and positively associated with dietary restraint (β = 0.15, p < 0.05) at age 16, but was not associated with age 19 adiposity (β = −0.01, p = ns). Emotional eating was positively associated with adiposity (β = 0.24, p < 0.01). Indirect effects suggested that emotional eating, but not dietary restraint, at age 16 serves as a mechanism that helps explain the associations between emotion regulation and adiposity four years later. Results from this study suggest that both emotion regulation and emotional eating represent promising targets for that should be included in future interventions aimed at preventing adolescent obesity. View Full-Text
Keywords: emotion regulation; obesity; emotional eating; adolescence; adiposity emotion regulation; obesity; emotional eating; adolescence; adiposity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Shriver, L.H.; Dollar, J.M.; Lawless, M.; Calkins, S.D.; Keane, S.P.; Shanahan, L.; Wideman, L. Longitudinal Associations between Emotion Regulation and Adiposity in Late Adolescence: Indirect Effects through Eating Behaviors. Nutrients 2019, 11, 517.

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