The Relationship of Hedonic Hunger and Night-Eating Symptoms with Difficulties in Emotion Regulation in Young Adults

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Purpose. This study aimed to examine the association between hedonic hunger and night-eating syndrome (NES) with difficulties in emotion regulation (DER) among young adults. Design and Methods. This cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted on a voluntary basis at a private foundation university, involving a total of 1010 students enrolled in the 2020-2021 academic year. Data were collected through an online application of an information form, which assessed demographic characteristics, the Power of Food Scale (PFS), the Night-Eating Questionnaire (NEQ), and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale-Short Form (DERS-16). The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS26® software. Findings. Women made up 80.4% of the students in the study. The mean age was 21.58 ± 2.98 years, and the mean body mass index (BMI) was 22.06 ± 3.71 kg/m2. The results indicated that 68.1% of the students reported hedonic hunger and 88.7% had NES. Moreover, DER was found to be more prevalent among women (p=0.031). In addition, the DERS-16 score increased by 6.5% (p=0.040) with each increase in age and by 6.8% (p=0.031) with each increase in BMI. Furthermore, the total PFS score increased by 32.5% (p<0.001), and the total NEQ score increased by 22.4% (p<0.001), corresponding to an increase in the total DERS-16 score. Practice Implications. These findings suggest that an increase in the difficulties experienced in emotion regulation is associated with higher levels of hedonic hunger and night-eating tendencies among young adults. © 2023 Pinar Hamurcu and Beyzanur Çamlibel.


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Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

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