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Examining eating disorder symptoms, sociocultural pressures, romantic attachment, social support, mating approaches and mating tactics within romantic relationships

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The current study examined the associations between romantic relationship status, gender, and factors of wellbeing related to eating disorders. A community sample of 588 women and 208 men, including a subsample of 80 couples, completed a series of self-report questionnaires. Involvement in such a relationship was related to less eating disorder symptoms, less attachment anxiety and avoidance, and greater social support, but was not related to the experience of sociocultural pressures. A more committed sexual approach style and more intimate mating tactics were found for those involved in a relationship compared with single status individuals. Within couples, partners were similar with regard to their level of perceived social support, global sociosexuality and use of friendship mating tactics. Women reported higher eating disorder symptoms, more sociocultural pressures and greater anxious attachment than men. The examination of relationship status and wellbeing, particularly eating disorder symptoms, is unique. The findings supplement the eating disorder literature and enhance the knowledge of mating behavior.

This abstract was presented in the Disordered Eating – Characteristics & Treatment stream of the 2013 ANZAED Conference.

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Correspondence to Cassandra Dean.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dean, C., Allen, J.S. & Hughes, E. Examining eating disorder symptoms, sociocultural pressures, romantic attachment, social support, mating approaches and mating tactics within romantic relationships. J Eat Disord 1, O30 (2013) doi:10.1186/2050-2974-1-S1-O30

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Keywords

  • Social Support
  • Eating Disorder
  • Relationship Status
  • Romantic Relationship
  • Anxious Attachment