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Can J Psychiatry. 1982 Jun;27(4):282-6.

A comparative psychometric study of anorexia nervosa and obsessive neurosis.


Similarities between anorexia nervosa and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been described by a number of authors but few empirical investigations have been reported. In the current study, 15 female anorexics were compared with 14 age-matched female obsessives on a variety of psychometric tests, psychiatrist's ratings and self-rating scales. Obsessives and anorexics obtained similarly high obsessive symptom and trait scores on the Leyton Obsessional Inventory LOI). Both groups were rated by the psychiatrist as similarly obsessive, and there were no significant group differences in self-ratings of obsessive symptoms. Both groups were characterized by high levels of neuroticism and anxiety and low levels of extraversion. In the anorexic group the 6 abstainers had higher resistance scores on the LOI and higher extraversion scores on th MPI than the 9 bulimics. Findings are discussed with reference to the "sorcerer's apprentice" syndrome which appears to characterize both the obsessive and the anorexic.

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