Objective: Cross-cultural comparisons that focus on underlying psychological mechanisms in disordered eating (DE) are lacking. With the aim of addressing this gap, we investigated the interplay between mentalizing, distress, and DE in two cultural groups: the ultra-Orthodox and secular Jewish societies in Israel. Method: A combination of performance-based and self-report measures of two mentalizing-related constructs (emotional awareness and alexithymia), along with self-report measures of distress, DE, and values preferences, were employed in a community sample (N = 300) of ultra-Orthodox and secular Jewish women. Results: Distress predicted DE in both cultural groups, yet there were cultural differences in the moderating role of mentalizing. Both mentalizing measures moderated the distress‒DE link in the secular group, but not in the ultra-Orthodox group. Furthermore, there were cultural differences in the moderating effects of self versus other mentalizing. Conclusions: The results suggest cultural differences in the underlying psychological mechanism of DE.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Adi Rotman, Dana Feldman, Danit Hamish, Hodaya Moatti-Moskovich, Naomi Golan, Yara Daeem, and Yuval Zonenberg for their valuable help with data collection.
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC
- disordered eating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)