Reciprocal relationships between emotion regulation and motives for eating palatable foods in African American adolescents

Academic Article


  • This study examines possible bidirectional relationships between emotion regulation and motives related to consuming palatable foods during adolescence. Participants included 79 adolescents (96% African American) who took part in Waves 2 and 3 of the Coping with Violence Study. The youth were recruited from four public middle schools serving low income, urban communities in Birmingham, AL. Participants completed self-report measures of emotion regulation and indicated different motives for consuming tasty foods and drinks at both waves. Results demonstrate that poorer emotion regulation at Wave 2 predicted more frequent endorsement of eating motives related to coping and conforming at Wave 3. Eating motives at Wave 2 were not associated with changes in emotion regulation at Wave 3. The results suggest that emotion regulation problems in adolescence may contribute to obesity and related negative outcomes through greater consumption of unhealthy food for coping and social conformity reasons.
  • Published In

  • Appetite  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Orihuela CA; Mrug S; Boggiano MM
  • Start Page

  • 303
  • End Page

  • 309
  • Volume

  • 117