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Int J Eat Disord. 2019 Feb;52(2):200-205. doi: 10.1002/eat.23008. Epub 2019 Jan 12.

An investigation of indirect effects of personality features on anorexia nervosa severity through interoceptive dysfunction in individuals with lifetime anorexia nervosa diagnoses.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
2
BioRealm, LLC, Walnut, California.
3
Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, Oregon.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
6
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
7
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
8
Sheppard Pratt Health System, Towson, Maryland.
9
Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
10
The Emily Program, St. Paul, Minnesota.
11
Roseneck Hospital for Behavioral Medicine, affiliated with the University of Munich (LMU), Germany.
12
New York Presbyterian Hospital-Westchester Division, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains, New York.
13
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
14
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
15
Department of Psychology, American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Arlington, Virginia.
16
Department of Psychiatry, CHUY/University of Lausenne, Switzerland.
17
Brain Mind Institute, Switzerland.
18
Department of Clinical Research, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, North Dakota.
19
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Fargo, North Dakota.
20
Department of Quantitative Medicine, The Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Arizona.
21
Human Biology, The J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla, California.
22
Department of Psychiatry, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
23
Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
24
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
25
Program for Eating Disorders, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
26
Department of Psychiatry, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined a hypothesized pathway by which interoceptive dysfunction accounted for associations between personality features (harm avoidance, self-directedness, and perfectionism) and anorexia nervosa (AN) severity (indicated by drive for thinness, eating disorder-related preoccupations and rituals, and body mass index).

METHOD:

The study sample (n = 270, mean age = 28.47, 95.2% female, 98% White/Caucasian) consisted of probands and biological relatives who met DSM-IV criteria for lifetime diagnoses of AN (omitting criterion D, amenorrhea) drawn from the Price Foundation Anorexia Nervosa Affected Relative Pairs Study (AN-ARP). Participants completed measures assessing personality, interoceptive dysfunction, and eating pathology.

RESULTS:

Associations between personality features of low self-directedness and high perfectionism and indicators of AN severity (drive for thinness and eating disorder-related preoccupations and rituals) were significant, as were the hypothesized indirect pathways through interoceptive dysfunction. Neither harm avoidance nor body mass index was significantly related to other study variables, and the proposed indirect pathways involving these variables were not significant.

DISCUSSION:

Findings suggest that certain personality features may relate to AN severity, in part, through their associations with interoceptive dysfunction. Future research should examine prospective associations and the value of interventions targeting interoceptive dysfunction for interrupting the link between personality and AN severity.

KEYWORDS:

anorexia nervosa; body mass index; feeding and eating disorders; perfectionism; personality; thinness

PMID:
30636025
DOI:
10.1002/eat.23008

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