Predicting Disordered Eating Behaviors Based on Perfectionism and Childhood Trauma: Presenting an Explanatory Model with Mediated Role of Internalized Shame

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad university, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, University of Rehabilitation Sciences and Social Health, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The aim of the present study was to predict disordered eating behavior via internalized shame as a mediator between perfectionism and childhood trauma. In order to accomplish this, a statistical population comprising all students enrolled in Islamic Azad Universities in Tehran during the academic year 2018-2019 was utilized to select five universities (Azad North, Center, South, Science and Research, and Medical Science). Subsequently, 400 students were selected as sample members using the available sampling method. Subsequently, 400 students were chosen using the available sampling procedure. They responded voluntarily to Eating Disordered Behavior Scale (EAT-26), Hill Perfectionism (HPI), Childhood Trauma Scale (CTQ), Internalized Shame (ISS). Finally, 324 questionnaires were incorporated. Analysis of the data was performed with SPSS-24 and Amos. The findings from the path analysis indicated that shame predicted eating disorders and mediated the relationship between childhood trauma, perfectionism, and eating disorders. Shame was identified as the mediating factor in this relationship. Individuals who experienced childhood traumatization appear to resort to compensatory behaviors, such as disordered eating, to regain a positive self-image and alleviate feelings of shame. An undesirable body image and feelings of shame can further exacerbate perfectionism, which may manifest as extreme behaviors like eating disorders as an attempt to attain an idealized appearance.


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