Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jill Stinson

Committee Members

Peggy Cantrell, Andrea Clements, Matt McBee


Obesity is a major health epidemic, impacting many people worldwide. Bariatric surgery is a common treatment for severe obesity and generally leads to improved overall health, remission of comorbid disease, and improved quality of life. Despite positive postsurgical results, many patients regain some to most of their weight following the procedure. Guidelines for presurgical psychological assessments have been developed to assist healthcare professionals in predicting outcomes for patients. Previous studies have focused on the impact of psychological illness on surgical outcomes, with mixed results. The current study aimed to assess the influence that difficulties in emotion regulation has on eating patterns in bariatric surgery patients. A total of 144 patients seeking bariatric surgery were included in the study. Results indicated no difference in severity of eating patterns among restricted, emotional, and external eating; though difficulties in emotion regulation was only significantly related to emotional (r = .427, p < .001) and external (r = .275, p < .001) eating patterns. Regression analyses indicated significant models for the impact of difficulties in emotion regulation on emotional (R2 = .254 F(5, 135) = 9.180, p < .001) and external (R2 = .094, F(5, 135) = 2.811, p = .019) eating. Specific predictors of emotional eating were discussed. Outcomes of this study highlight the importance of considering difficulties in emotion regulation in bariatric surgery patients due to the impact emotional dysregulation may have on eating patterns.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.