The moderating role of body image inflexibility in the relation between weight concerns and symptoms of eating disorders in Cypriot University students

Maria Koushiou, Alexandros Kapatais, Eleni Iasonidou, Marios Adonis, Nuno Ferreira


Objectives: Eating Disorder symptoms are highly prevalent and persistent among university students, especially in societies that place high emphasis on body image and in countries where the weather conditions result in body revealing clothing such as Cyprus. The aim of this study is to investigate whether body image inflexibility moderates the relationship between weight concerns and eating disorder symptoms in a sample of Cypriot University students.

Methodology: 440 students responded to a survey including measures of weight concerns, (WCS), body image inflexibility (BIIAAQ) and symptoms of eating disorders (EAT-26). Moderation analyses were conducted using the PROCESS Macro for SPSS.

Results: The moderation model showed a significant interaction between weight concerns and body image inflexibility (95% CI .004 - .007).

Discussion: Higher body image inflexibility seems to exacerbate the risk from weight concerns augmenting the experience of eating disorders symptoms. The findings suggest that interventions targeting body image inflexibility might help prevent and alleviate eating disorders symptoms.


Eating disorders; Body image inflexibility; Weight concerns; University students.

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