The Moderating Effects of Attachment to God on Disordered Eating Behaviors

Publication Date



Attachment to God has been shown to serve as a protective factor against certain eating disorder risk factors such as negative body image and sociocultural pressure. The current project sought to further that research by examining the possible moderating effects of attachment to God on specific disordered eating symptoms. Data from questionnaires that were distributed through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk were analyzed. The sample consisted of 102 women ranging in age from 19-57. The women varied in their religious affiliations and beliefs. They were given four questionnaires measuring perceived sociocultural pressures, eating disorder symptoms, emotional eating, and attachment to God. Attachment to God was hypothesized to moderate the effect of sociocultural pressures on disordered eating symptoms. It was predicted that the women who perceive more sociocultural pressure and had an insecure-avoidant attachment to God would score higher on anorexia symptoms in the eating disorder questionnaire, while women who perceived more sociocultural pressure and had an insecure-anxious attachment would score higher on bulimia symptoms. Additionally, significant correlations between anxious attachment to God and emotional eating factors were predicted. Results indicate a significant correlation between bulimia symptoms and anxious attachment, as well as significant correlations between bulimia symptoms and each factor of the Emotional Eating Scale (EES; anger/frustration, anxiety, & depression). Furthermore, insecure-anxious attachment to God was found to significantly moderate the effect of sociocultural pressure on bulimia symptoms.

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Schnitker, Sarah A.

Document Type





Eating disorders, Attachment behavior, Bulimia, Anorexia nervosa




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