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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Mar;45(3):437-47. Epub 2006 May 12.

The relationship of momentary anger and impulsivity to bulimic behavior.

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Department of Clinical Research, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, 120 S. 8th Street, P.O. Box 1415, Fargo, ND 58078, USA.


Past research has suggested that negative affect may be a causal factor for eating disordered behaviors. More specifically, research has shown that anger appears to be one aspect of negative affect that is particularly relevant in bulimic patients. Previous studies have also shown that the relationship between negative affect and eating disordered behaviors may partially depend upon personality variables such as impulsivity. The present study examined whether the relationship between anger and eating disordered behaviors is moderated by impulsivity. Subjects completed an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) protocol for an average of 2 weeks. Findings revealed that overall antecedent anger level and the variability of antecedent anger predicted binge-eating episodes and that these relationships were moderated by participants' level of impulsivity. These findings suggest that personality variables impact the way that anger and eating behaviors relate. They also suggest that the variability of antecedent anger may be a fruitful avenue for future research for those interested in causal variables associated with bulimia nervosa.

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