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A longitudinal study of perfectionism and orthorexia in exercisers

Pratt, Verity B., Hill, Andrew P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6370-8901 and Madigan, Daniel J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9937-1818 (2023) A longitudinal study of perfectionism and orthorexia in exercisers. Appetite, 183 (106455).

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Research suggests that trait perfectionism and perfectionistic self-presentation are related to orthorexia – a pathological obsession with correct nutrition. However, no studies have examined these relationships over time or compared the influence of the two aspects of perfectionism on orthorexia. In the present study we sought to address these two issues. Gym members who engaged in high degrees of exercise were recruited via social media platforms. They completed an online questionnaire that included the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale-Short Form, Perfectionistic Self-Presentation Scale, and the Eating Habits Questionnaire on two occasions: 177 participants (Mean age = 31.6 years) initially completed the questionnaire and 82 completed the questionnaire six weeks later. A series of multiple regression analyses revealed that (i) trait perfectionism predicted an increase in orthorexia symptomatology over time with socially prescribed perfectionism and other-oriented perfectionism unique predictors of orthorexia, (ii) perfectionistic self-presentation predicted orthorexia over time with nondisplay of imperfection a unique predictor of orthorexia, and (iii) when considered alongside each other, only trait dimensions of perfectionism were unique predictors of orthorexia. The present study provides further evidence that perfectionism is related to orthorexia. In addition, the study also provides preliminary evidence that more engrained trait aspects of perfectionism are more predictive of intensifying orthorexia over time than the self-presentational aspects of perfectionism.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2023.106455
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7267

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