Emotion Recognition and Regulation in Anorexia Nervosa

Amy Harrison, Sarah Sullivan, Kate Tchanturia, Janet Treasure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

255 Citations (Scopus)


It is recognized that emotional problems lie at the core of eating disorders (EDs) but scant attention has been paid to specific aspects such as emotional recognition, regulation and expression. This study aimed to investigate emotion recognition using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes (RME) task and emotion regulation using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) in 20 women with anorexia nervosa (AN) and 20 female healthy controls (HCs). Women with AN had significantly lower scores on RME and reported significantly more difficulties with emotion regulation than HCs. There was a significant negative correlation between total DERS score and correct answers from the RME. These results suggest that women with AN have difficulties with emotional recognition and regulation. It is uncertain whether these deficits result from starvation and to what extent they might be reversed by weight gain alone. These deficits may need to be targeted in treatment. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348 - 356
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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