Increases in shame following binge eating among women: Laboratory and longitudinal findings

Heather A. Davis, Pamela K. Keel, June P. Tangney, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This multi-method, two-study investigation tested the hypothesis that, controlling for guilt and negative affect, shame increases following binge eating. Support for this hypothesis constitutes the first step in testing the theory that shame mediates the link between binge eating and comorbid psychopathology. Study 1 employed a laboratory binge-eating paradigm in n = 51 women [21 with bulimia nervosa, 30 controls]. Study 2 employed a naturalistic test of prospective relationships among binge eating, shame, guilt, and negative affect in n = 302 college women over three months. In Study 1, women with bulimia nervosa reported increases in shame that were not explained by changes in guilt or negative affect, following laboratory binge eating, compared with controls. In Study 2, baseline binge eating predicted increased shame at follow-up independently of guilt and negative affect. Should shame prove to mediate the link between binge eating and comorbid disorders, interventions to reduce shame may be useful for those who binge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106276
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health ( F31 MH114551 & T32 MH082761 ). The funder had no role in study design, in the data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Binge eating
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Emotions
  • Shame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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