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J Abnorm Psychol. 1993 Aug;102(3):438-44.

Personality and behavioral vulnerabilities associated with risk status for eating disorders in adolescent girls.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota 55455.


This article presents first-year cross-sectional findings from a study of the development of eating disorders. Adolescent female (N = 937) 7th through 10th graders completed measures that included information on personality, self-concept, eating patterns, and attitudes. A risk status score was calculated on the basis of comprehensive information regarding DSM-III-R eating disorders criteria and other weight and attitudinal data. All personality measures showed significant differences according to risk, based on subject classification into high, moderate, and mild risk status and comparison groups. Early puberty was not associated with increased risk. The strongest predictor variables for risk were body dissatisfaction, negative emotionality, and lack of interoceptive awareness. The possible diathesis of personality including temperamental factors in the later development of an eating disorder is discussed.

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