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Personality dimensions in eating disorders and their relevance for subtyping.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago, IL 60637.

Abstract

Personality dimensions and psychopathological symptoms were assessed in 50 female patients hospitalized for the treatment of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and in 19 healthy female controls of similar age. Restricting anorexia nervosa patients, who had lost weight by consistently reducing their food intake, reported significantly greater self-control, inhibition of emotionality, and conscientiousness than controls or bulimia nervosa patients, before and after the data were corrected for depressive and eating pathology. Both nonbulimic and bulimic anorexia nervosa patients expressed stronger than normal conformance to moral and family values. On the impulsivity dimension, bulimia nervosa patients scored in the high normal range, whereas bulimic anorexia nervosa patients rated in the low normal range. The results suggest that a personality disposition toward overcontrol and reserve might constitute a risk factor for the restricting type of anorexia nervosa through fostering restrictive behavior toward food and avoidance of personal relationships.

PMID:
1400113
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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