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Psychiatry Res. 2008 Nov 30;161(2):195-205. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2007.10.003. Epub 2008 Oct 5.

Anger expression in eating disorders: clinical, psychopathological and personality correlates.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Bellvitge, Barcelona, Spain.


The goals of the study were to compare anger expressions in individuals with eating disorders and healthy controls, and to explore the relation among eating disorder symptoms, comorbid psychopathology, personality traits, and impulsive behaviours. Participants comprised 135 eating disorder patients consecutively admitted to our unit and 103 healthy controls. Assessment measures included the Eating Disorders Inventory 2 (EDI-2), Bulimic Investigatory Test Edinburgh (BITE), Symptom Checklist-Revised (SCL-90-R), Social Avoidance Distress Scale (SAD), Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised (TCI-R), State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory 2 (STAXI-2), and other clinical and psychopathological indices. In the control group also the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) was also used. Women with eating disorders obtained significantly higher mean scores than controls on all STAXI-2 scales except for Anger Control. When various purging methods were assessed independently, the frequency of laxative use was associated with anger suppression. Eating disorder symptoms and specific personality traits were positively associated with different forms of anger expression. Finally, patients with higher scores on anger suppression were more likely to report self-harming behaviors. Eating disorder patients may have inadequate anger expression and deficits in coping with anger and frustration. Furthermore, different purging methods may be related to different facets of anger.

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