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Ambulatory and longitudinal relationships between mindfulness and eating problems: The mediating role of self-objectification

Abstract

Previous research has shown a negative association between mindfulness and its facets and eating problems. Few studies have examined the mechanism involved between them. As an important cognitive factor of eating problems, self-objectification may be a mediating variable in the prediction of eating problems as they relate to mindfulness. We examined the relation between mindfulness and its facets and eating problems using an ambulatory assessment and follow-up test as well as the mediating effect of self-objectification. A total of 106 college students were recruited to complete the full study. State mindfulness, state self-objectification, and eating problems in daily life were measured by an ambulatory assessment. Trait self-objectification and overall eating problems were measured at a two-month follow-up. For the ambulatory assessment, state mindfulness and five facets of mindfulness could not predict eating problems at the next moment in daily life, and there was no mediating effect of state self-objectification. For the longitudinal survey, acting with awareness, as a facet of mindfulness, can predict eating problems. Trait self-objectification mediated the relationship between acting with awareness and overall eating problems. The findings indicate that the association between mindfulness and eating problems mainly occurs at the trait level.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Xiaoyan LIU for her work on this project.

Data Availability Statement and Code Availability

We made raw data from our study available in a public repository. See https://osf.io/p3v45/

Funding

This work was supported by the [National Natural Science Foundation of China] under Grant [number 31800929]; and [Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities] under Grant [2020NTSS42].

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Correspondence to Wei Xu.

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Sheng, R., Wen, X. & Xu, W. Ambulatory and longitudinal relationships between mindfulness and eating problems: The mediating role of self-objectification. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01668-w

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Eating problems
  • Self-objectification
  • Ambulatory assessment
  • Follow-up survey