The perfectionism model of binge eating: Tests of an integrative model

This study proposes, tests, and supports the perfectionism model of binge eating (PMOBE), a model aimed at explaining why perfectionism is related to binge eating. According to this model, socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP) confers risk for binge eating by generating exposure to 4 triggers of binge episodes: interpersonal discrepancies, low interpersonal esteem, depressive affect, and dietary restraint. In testing the PMOBE, a daily diary was completed by 566 women for 7 days. Predictions derived from the PMOBE were supported, with tests of mediation suggesting that the indirect effect of SPP on binge eating through triggers of binge episodes was significant. Reciprocal relations were also observed, with certain triggers of binge episodes predicting binge eating (and vice versa). Results supported the incremental validity of the PMOBE over and above self-oriented perfectionism and neuroticism and the generalizability of this model across Asian and European Canadian participants. The PMOBE offers a novel view of individuals with high levels of SPP as active agents who raise their risk of binge eating by generating conditions in their daily lives that are conducive to binge episodes.