Insecure Attachment and Disordered Eating: The Role of Maladaptive Perfectionism as a Mediator
While the relationship between insecure attachment and disordered eating is well established, limited research is available on potential mechanisms by which insecure attachment may increase vulnerability to disordered eating. This study examined the relationships among insecure attachment, disordered eating and aspects of perfectionism. In addition, it investigated maladaptive perfectionism as a potential mediator of the relationship between insecure attachment and disordered eating. 107 undergraduate students, aged 18-to-26 years, completed three online questionnaires: the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R) Questionnaire, the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and the Big Three Perfectionism Scale (BTPS). Pearson’s correlation analyses revealed significant relationships among attachment anxiety, disordered eating and aspects of perfectionism. Mediation analyses partially confirmed the hypothesis that maladaptive perfectionism mediates the relationship between insecure attachment and disordered eating. Specifically, maladaptive perfectionism mediates the relationship between anxious attachment and disordered eating. Findings highlight opportunities for tailored interventions and avenues for future research.