Emotion regulation, emotion recognition, and empathy in adolescents with anorexia nervosa

Eating and Weight Disorders : EWD
Kevser NalbantNuray Kanbur

Abstract

Emotional functions may play an important role in anorexia nervosa (AN). The onset of the disorder generally occurs during adolescence, which is a critical period of emotional development. However, most studies that evaluated emotional functions in AN were conducted in adult patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate emotion regulation, emotion recognition, and empathy skills in adolescent girls with AN by controlling for the effects of depression and anxiety symptoms, childhood traumatic experiences, and attachment security on emotional functions. Thirty-two adolescent girls with AN and 32 healthy counterparts completed the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, and the Child and Adolescent KA-SI Empathic Tendency Scale-Adolescent Form. The results revealed that adolescents with AN were found to have more difficulties in emotion regulation, higher alexithymic tendencies, and lower empathy skills compared with the control group. However, emotion recognition was not found to be significantly different between the two groups. These results were the same when controlling for the effects of depression and anxiety symptoms, childhood traumatic experiences, ...Continue Reading

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