Negative affect, interpersonal perception, and binge eating behavior: An experience sampling study

Suman Ambwani, Michael J. Roche, Alyssa M. Minnick, Aaron L. Pincus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Objective Etiological and maintenance models for disordered eating highlight the salience of negative affect and interpersonal dysfunction. This study employed a 14-day experience sampling procedure to assess the impact of negative affect and interpersonal perceptions on binge eating behavior. Method Young adult women (N = 40) with recurrent binge eating and significant clinical impairment recorded their mood, interpersonal behavior, and eating behaviors at six stratified semirandom intervals daily through the use of personal digital assistants. Results Although momentary negative affect was associated with binge eating behavior, average levels of negative affect over the experience sampling period were not, and interpersonal problems moderated the relationship between negative affect and binge eating. Interpersonal problems also intensified the association between momentary interpersonal perceptions and binge eating behavior. Lagged analyses indicated that previous levels of negative affect and interpersonal style also influence binge eating. Discussion The study findings suggest there may be important differences in how dispositional versus momentary experiences of negative affect are associated with binge eating. Results also highlight the importance of interpersonal problems for understanding relationships among negative affect, interpersonal perception, and binge eating behavior. These results offer several possibilities for attending to affective and interpersonal functioning in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-726
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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