OBJECTIVE: Preliminary research has found a link between restrictive eating attitudes and a fear of negative evaluation (FNE). However, such work has focused exclusively on these fears in relation to people in general. The current study sought to replicate and extend these findings by exploring links between restriction and FNE in relation to close friends and relatives. METHOD: Ninety-one young women completed two versions of the short Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE). First, they completed the standard scale (in relation to people in general), and then an amended version (in relation to close friends and relatives). Next, they completed the three eating-related subscales of the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI). RESULTS: For the whole group, both general and close FNE were significantly and positively correlated with restrictive (drive for thinness and body dissatisfaction), but not with bulimic attitudes. However, only general FNE had significant individual predictive power on restrictive attitudes when these two forms of FNE were entered into a regression analysis. DISCUSSION: Among nonclinical populations, negative evaluation fears regarding people in general are linked with restrictive but not with bulimic psychopathology.
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