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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;157(11):1799-805.

Perfectionism in anorexia nervosa: variation by clinical subtype, obsessionality, and pathological eating behavior.

Author information

  • 1Eating Disorders Program, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Westchester Division, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains, NY 10605, USA. kah29@cornell.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of perfectionism as a phenotypic trait in anorexia nervosa and its relevance across clinical subtypes of this illness.

METHOD:

The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale and the perfectionism subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory were administered to 322 women with a history of anorexia nervosa who were participating in an international, multicenter genetic study of anorexia nervosa. All participants were additionally interviewed with the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and the Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorder Scale. Mean differences on dependent measures among women with anorexia nervosa and comparison subjects were examined by using generalized estimating equations.

RESULTS:

Persons who had had anorexia nervosa had significantly higher total scores on the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale than did the healthy comparison subjects. In addition, scores of the anorexia subjects on the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 perfectionism subscale exceeded Eating Disorder Inventory-2 normative data. For the anorexia nervosa participants, the total score on the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale and the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 perfectionism subscale score were highly correlated. Total score on the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale was also significantly related to the total score and the motivation-for-change subscale score of the Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorder Scale.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data show that perfectionism is a robust, discriminating characteristic of anorexia nervosa. Perfectionism is likely to be one of a cluster of phenotypic trait variables associated with a genetic diathesis for anorexia nervosa.

PMID:
11058477
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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