Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 201-214

First online:

A Model for Assessing the Self-Schemas of Restrained Eaters

  • Margaret E. MorrisAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Stanford University
  • , Timothy E. GoldsmithAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of New Mexico
  • , Samuel RollAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of New Mexico
  • , Jane Ellen SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of New Mexico

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This study explored the ways in which self-appraisal relates to concerns about weight and food among restrained eaters. Network modeling was used to visually depict the restrained eaters' self-schemas, structures that organize information relevant to self-assessment, and to compare the self-schemas of restrained eaters and controls. Twenty-six restrained eaters and 24 controls rated the relatedness of self-evaluation and weight/food-related concepts. These relatedness ratings were transformed via a scaling algorithm into schematic networks, which were interpreted as models of self-schemas. The self-schemas of restrained eaters centered more around weight/food-related concepts and contained more links between self-evaluative and weight/food-related concepts than the schemas of controls. This study offers empirical support for theoretical formulations about distorted self-evaluation among restrained eaters and provides a novel methodology for assessing self-representation.

self-schemas self-representation restrained eating eating disorders