The stress-eating relationship : how food can be used as a coping mechanism for stress and emotions

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Donohue, Aisling
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Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychoanalytic Studies
Dublin Business School
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A change in eating behaviour can occur as a result of stress or emotions a person may experience. This stress or emotion can be brought about by certain stressors a person can encounter. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between eating behaviour as a result of stress or emotions and a person’s belief in their ability to cope with the stress or emotions endured. It also aimed to investigate these variables differed in any way between men and woman, and between four different age groups tested. The Eating and Appraisal due to Emotions and Stress questionnaire (Ozier, 2007) and the Global Motivation Scale (Guay, Mageau & Vallerand, 2003) were used to collect data. The findings of this study suggest that there is a significant positive relationship between emotion and stress related eating and the perception an individual has in their belief of being able to coping, and between emotion and stress related eating and the appraisal of outside stressors when analysed using a Pearson correlation. It was also found that motivation, in particular the intrinsic motivations of to know and towards accomplishment and the extrinsic motivation of identified are positively correlated to the appraisal of one’s ability and resources to cope. Author keywords: Stress, eating, emotional eating, coping