Sleep difficulties in adolescence have been linked to greater impulsivity, negative affect, propensity to interpret neutral stimuli as negative, and higher rates of anxiety and depressive symptomatology (Van Dyk, 2016). However, minimal research has looked at the relationship among sleep difficulties, emotional eating, and body dissatisfaction within this population. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to explore the relationship among sleep difficulties, emotional eating, and body dissatisfaction among adolescents aged 12-18 years. Specifically, the current study stands to 1) confirm the relationship between emotional eating and body dissatisfaction; 2) test if sleep difficulties are related to emotional eating; 3) test if sleep difficulties are related to body dissatisfaction; 4) test if body dissatisfaction moderates the relationship between emotional eating and sleep difficulties; and 5) test if body dissatisfaction mediates the relationship between emotional eating and sleep difficulties. Bivariate analyses revealed shorter sleep duration was correlated with body dissatisfaction in the direction of desiring thinness (r = -0.323, p < .05). Multiple linear regressions showed a moderation effect of body dissatisfaction on the relationship between sleep duration and emotional eating, such that for adolescents desiring thinness, shorter sleep was associated with increased emotional eating in response to feeling angry, anxious, and/or depressed, R2Δ = .138, F(1, 52) = 8.613, p < .05. Thus, results from the current study highlight the use of sleep optimization treatments as possible intervention strategies for youth with high levels of body dissatisfaction and emotional eating tendencies.
School of Behavioral Health
Tori Van Dyk
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Adolescent; Body Dissatisfaction; Anxiety; Impulsive Behavior; Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders; Feeding Behavior
xi, 66 p.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
White, Megan, "Sleep, Body Dissatisfaction, and Eating Among Adolescents" (2023). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1737.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives