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Addict Behav. 1991;16(5):303-14.

Personality and family features of adolescent girls with eating symptoms: evidence for restricter/binger differences in a nonclinical population.

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Eating Disorders Program, Douglas Hospital Centre, Verdun (Montreal) Quebec, Canada.


Conflicting evidence exists concerning a "restricter/binger" dichotomy aligned with personality traits of obsessionality versus impulsivity, and family traits of enmeshment versus incohesion. The present study explored relationships among reported personality and family traits, on the one hand, and subtypes of eating symptoms, on the other, in a sample of 715 high-school girls. Symptomatic eaters (most displaying subclinical eating problems) consistently displayed more Mood Problems, Body Concerns, and Self-Criticism than did asymptomatic girls. Differences were observed between restrictive eaters and binge eaters on other variables: Restrictive types were more Perfectionistic, whereas bingers were more Impulsive and rated their families as more Incohesive. Results were discussed in the light of two views on restricter/binger differences. That they reflect: (a) premorbid features acting in predisposition to the eating disorders (EDs). (b) state-dependent features associated either with restrictive or binging phases of eating disturbances.

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