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Eat Weight Disord. 2011 Jun;16(2):e81-5.

Eating disorder symptoms and borderline personality symptomatology.

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Department of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio 45342, USA.


According to the empirical literature, there are high rates of borderline personality disorder (BPD) among individuals with formal diagnoses of eating disorders, and high rates of eating disorders among individuals with BPD. In this study, we examined relationships between three eating disorder symptoms (i.e., binge eating, starving oneself, abusing laxatives) and borderline personality symptomatology according to two self-report measures (the borderline personality scale of the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 and the Self- Harm Inventory) in a sample of psychiatric inpatients (N=126) and in a sample of internal medicine outpatients (N=419). Each individual eating disorder item, as well as a composite score of all three items, demonstrated statistically significant correlations with both measures of borderline personality symptomatology in both samples. In addition, endorsement of all three symptoms was invariably associated with borderline personality symptomatology on both measures. Specific eating disorder symptoms, alone, may predict for borderline personality symptomatology.

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