Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Diana Rancourt, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jack Darkes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Salomon, Ph.D.


Eating Pathology, Negative Affect, Thinness


Expectancy models (i.e., cognitions regarding perceived consequences of behavior) have been applied to eating behaviors to understand the development and maintenance of disordered eating. The two primary categories of expectancies, thinness/restriction expectancies (i.e., perceived rewards from being thin or restricting one’s diet) and negative affect reduction expectancies (i.e., the belief that eating will reduce negative emotions) have largely been studied in isolation, despite evidence that individuals can endorse both sets of expectancies simultaneously. To address this, the current study proposed an interactive model of thinness/restriction and eating to manage negative affect expectancies and disordered eating behavior. Specifically, it was hypothesized that for individuals endorsing higher levels of one expectancy, greater endorsement of the second category of expectancies would be more strongly associated with more dietary restriction, binge eating, and compensatory behaviors than for individuals endorsing only one category of expectancies. A total of 406 university students (54.2% female; 68.8% non-Hispanic White; MBMI = 25.05) completed measures of thinness/restriction expectancies, eating to manage negative affect, dietary restriction, and binge eating and compensatory behaviors. A linear regression (dietary restriction) and negative binomial regressions (binge eating, compensatory behaviors) revealed no statistically significant interactions of thinness/restriction and eating to manage negative affect expectancies. Main effects of expectancies on disordered eating were observed, and there was evidence to support future tests of mediation. Findings support the inclusion of expectancies in indices of cognitive recovery from eating disorders and suggest that expectancies may hold value in prevention and intervention efforts.