The association among interpersonal problems, binge behaviors, and self-esteem, in the assessment of obese individuals.

Salvatore Gullo, Laura Salerno, Gianluca Lo Coco, Rosalia Iacoponelli, Laura Salerno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Although disordered eating has been assumed to be associated with interpersonal problems, there is a lack of research regarding the relationship between interpersonal problems and obesity. This study explored associations among self-esteem, binge behaviours and interpersonal problems in obese individuals, by contrasting obese persons with overweight persons; and to investigate whether BMI, binge behaviours and self-esteem predict interpersonal problems in obese individuals. Methods: A group of non-obese overweight people (N= 65; BMI range: 25-29.9) and a group of obese people (N= 78; BMI > 35) were selected from 224 people attending a mental health-care service specializing in eating disorders in Palermo (Italy). Seventy-eight percent of participants were female. All participants filled in the following measures: the Inventory of Interpersonal problems- short version- (IIP-32), the Binge Eating Scale (BES), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). Results: The findings showed that four domains of interpersonal problems were associated with binge behaviours and self-esteem in obese participants. Moreover, the relationship between binge behaviors and interpersonal problems was partially mediated by self-esteem. Conclusions: Given the poor prognosis for the long-term management of obesity, it could be important for clinicians to carefully assess patients’ interpersonal functioning, and its relationship to self-esteem and binge behaviors, especially with respect to treatment-seeking obese patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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