Dougherty, Badillo, Johnson, Haedt-Matt (2019) Threat appraisal partially mediates the relation between neuroticism and bulimic symptoms Eating disorders () 1-15


Several studies support an association between neuroticism and bulimic symptoms; however, few studies have focused on how neuroticism exerts its influence. The purpose of this study was to extend the literature by investigating threat appraisal as a potential mediator of the relation between neuroticism and bulimic symptoms. One hundred and twenty women completed self-report measures of trait neuroticism, threat appraisal, and bulimic symptoms. Approximately half of the sample reported moderate or high levels of bulimic symptoms. Bootstrapping analyses revealed that neuroticism and threat appraisal were both positive predictors of bulimic symptoms. Further, threat appraisal partially mediated the association between neuroticism and bulimic symptoms. The findings suggest that women high in neuroticism may be vulnerable to experiencing bulimic symptoms, particularly during periods of heightened stress. These women may perceive bulimic behavior to be more effective in alleviating negative stressful emotions compared to more adaptive coping strategies. Based on the findings, women diagnosed with bulimia nervosa with high levels of neuroticism may benefit from interventions that specifically target threat appraisals to facilitate their ability to effectively adapt to stress.