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J Clin Psychol. 1992 Jul;48(4):472-6.

Bulimia and fear of intimacy.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte 28223.


Many authors have suggested that fear of intimate relationships is a central dynamic in bulimia. However, empirical studies have yielded conflicting results. Eleven women who met the DSM-III-R criteria for bulimia and 23 women who denied binging and/or engaging in purging behavior completed the Fear of Intimacy Scale (Descutner & Thelen, 1991). This instrument is the first instrument to measure fear of intimacy reliably and has been found to be valid for this purpose. As predicted, bulimic subjects evidenced significantly greater fear of intimacy than did control subjects.

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