Emotion regulation styles as longitudinal predictors of compulsive exercise: a twelve month prospective study

Exercise can be used as a mood regulator but, in the eating disorder literature, exercise has sometimes been found to be compulsive, detrimental to physical health, and regarded as one maladaptive strategy used to regulate emotions. This study examined longitudinal associations between emotion regulation styles and this compulsive exercise in 572 adolescents who completed measures of compulsive exercise and emotion regulation. Twelve months later they completed measures of compulsive exercise. Compulsive exercise was predicted by Internal Dysfunctional emotion regulation in girls and boys, even after controlling for initial levels of compulsive exercise. Adolescents displaying compulsivity to exercise may require intervention programmes to alter their emotion regulation strategies.