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J Pers Disord. 2013 Jun;27(3):337-58. doi: 10.1521/pedi_2013_27_091. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

The dysregulated cluster in personality profiling research: longitudinal stability and associations with bulimic behaviors and correlates.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, USA.


Among cluster analytic studies of the personality profiles associated with bulimia nervosa, a group of individuals characterized by emotional lability and behavioral dysregulation (i.e., a dysregulated cluster) has emerged most consistently. However, previous studies have all been cross-sectional and mostly used clinical samples. This study aimed to replicate associations between the dysregulated personality cluster and bulimic symptoms and related characteristics using a longitudinal, population-based sample. Participants were females assessed at ages 17 and 25 from the Minnesota Twin Family Study, clustered based on their personality traits. The Dysregulated cluster was successfully identified at both time points and was more stable across time than either the Resilient or Sensation Seeking clusters. Rates of bulimic symptoms and related behaviors (e.g., alcohol use problems) were also highest in the dysregulated group. Findings suggest that the dysregulated cluster is a relatively stable and robust profile that is associated with bulimic symptoms.

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