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OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relationship between generic self-discrepancies, eating disorder symptoms and depressive symptoms. METHOD: One hundred women volunteered to take part in the study. Each participant completed a self-discrepancy questionnaire and questionnaires related to eating disorder and depressive symptoms. RESULTS: Eating disorder and depressive symptoms were correlated with a number of self-discrepancies. The relationship between eating disorder symptoms and actual: future discrepancies, but not that with actual: potential discrepancies, was explained by its link with appearance related stimuli. When the effects of depressive symptoms were controlled, only the relationship between actual: potential discrepancies and eating disorder symptom remained significant. DISCUSSION: At least one generic self-discrepancy is related specifically to eating disorder rather than depressive symptoms. Implications of the findings for theory and clinical practice are briefly discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Eat Disord Rev

Publication Date





207 - 212


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Body Image, Conflict, Psychological, Depression, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Self Concept