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Eat Behav. 2006 Jan;7(1):69-78. Epub 2005 Aug 1.

Neuroticism and introversion: a risky combination for disordered eating among a non-clinical sample of undergraduate women.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Recent evidence suggests that people who score low on measures of sociability may be at risk for certain types of psychopathology, including mood and anxiety disorders. In an attempt to extend these findings to other forms of psychopathology, we examined levels of neuroticism and extraversion in relation to eating problems in a non-clinical sample of undergraduate women. The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI), and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) were completed by 196 first-year undergraduate females. We found that high neuroticism was related to high scores on both of the EDI subscales (Bulimia and Drive for Thinness) as well as high scores on the EAT-26 measure, replicating previous work. In addition, neuroticism served as a moderator such that lower extraversion (i.e., introversion) was related to greater disordered eating, but only for those women who scored high on neuroticism. Thus, a combination of neuroticism and introversion may be a risk-factor for symptoms of eating disorders in a non-clinical sample of university women.

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