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J Pers Disord. 2006 Aug;20(4):417-30.

Personality pathology among individuals with a lifetime history of anorexia nervosa.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.


Anorexia nervosa (AN) appears to be associated with certain personality features. The degree to which personality pathology persists after the acute phase of illness is unclear. This study aimed to investigate personality pathology in a large sample (n = 153) of women with histories of AN using the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology (DAPP) and to evaluate the persistence of pathological personality features by comparing women with acute (n = 83) and remitted AN (n = 55). Women with AN demonstrated high levels of emotional dysregulation, social inhibition and compulsivity relative to age-matched healthy women (n = 124). Identity problems, intimacy problems and schizotypal features were highlighted as important. The same 14 pathological personality dimensions were significantly elevated in both ill and remitted participants, though remitted individuals' scores were reduced on 4 of the subscales. These results indicate that pathological personality features in AN are persistent traits, although some features may become exaggerated in the acute phase.

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