The Role of interpersonal stress in overeating among high and low disinhibitors

Kylie G. Oliver, Gail F. Huon, Lisa Zadro, Kipling D. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study was concerned with the role of interpersonal stress in precipitating eating for high and low disinhibitors. Two forms of stress, ostracism and argument, were compared. A second comparison focused on targets and sources of both forms of interpersonal stress. Fifty-seven females who differed in their level of disinhibition participated in a two-stage experiment. In the first stage, they were engaged in a social interaction with two other people. The second stage involved a taste test; the dependent variable was the amount of food eaten. There were no differences between the ostracism and argument conditions for the amount of food eaten; nor did high and low disinhibitors differ. There was, however, a significant interaction between level of disinhibition and role (target vs. source) for the amount of food eaten. High disinhibitors ate markedly more than low disinhibitors when they were targets; the two groups ate similar amounts when they were sources. Strategies that dieters can employ in order to overcome the tendency to overeat are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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