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Reflective Kai-tiakitanga: Evaluation of a self-help acceptance and commitment therapy package for emotional eating behaviours

Abstract
Obesity is a major health epidemic that, in spite of global efforts, continues to rise. One of the suspected causes of obesity is the prevalence of emotional eating. It is proposed that this emotional eating functions as a form of avoidance behaviour for negative affect and thoughts. Therefore, the goal of the present research was to explore the use of a self-help-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) intervention as a means to decrease emotional eating and unhealthy eating behaviours. Eight participants completed a multiple baseline design with additional pre- and post-intervention measures. During this multiple baseline design, experiential avoidance and emotional eating behaviours were recorded. The participants completed the intervention over a period of three months. The focus of the intervention was to assist the participants in understanding the processes and concepts of acceptance and commitment therapy, as well as learning how to put these processes into practical application. Following the intervention, there was found to be a significant decrease in self-reported unhealthy eating behaviours and binge or compulsive eating, with additional decreases noted in experiential avoidance and psychological inflexibility. It is suggested that this decrease in binge eating could be the indirect result of the reduction of avoidance behaviour. These results provide promising support for the use of self-help-based ACT as a mechanism for the reduction of emotional eating behaviour, as well as other avoidance behaviours.
Type
Thesis
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
de Hoedt Norgrove, T. C. (2019). Reflective Kai-tiakitanga: Evaluation of a self-help acceptance and commitment therapy package for emotional eating behaviours (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13399
Date
2019
Publisher
The University of Waikato
Rights
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