A paper that examines therapeutic strategies for reducing body image distress in individuals with eating disorders has earned York University Assistant Professor Skye Fitzpatrick an award from the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).
The paper “An experimental comparison of emotion regulation strategies for reducing acute distress in individuals with eating disorders” was selected as the winner of the 2019 CPA Best Article Award in Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science (CJBS).
The journal’s editorial team nominates and adjudicates the articles for this award, and winners receive a prize of $1,000 which is conferred at the CPA annual Awards Ceremony.
Fitzpatrick, the lead author on the study, worked with University of Toronto researchers Danielle E. MacDonald, Traci McFarlane and Kathryn Trottier, to investigate an experimental comparison of three different therapeutic strategies to reduce body image distress in those with eating disorders.
“We specifically compared the use of mindfulness, distraction and cognitive reappraisal (i.e., re-thinking an emotional situation to lessen its impact) after a brief body image distress induction,” explained Fitzpatrick. “We found that the strategies did not differ in their impact negative emotion, urges to engage in eating disorder behaviour, or the perceived likelihood of engaging in eating disorder behaviour.
“However, we found that cognitive reappraisal resulted in greater reductions in body dissatisfaction than mindfulness, and in how important people’s weight and shape were to their overall self-concept compared to distraction.”
As part of the award, CPA will make the article open access.