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Int J Eat Disord. 1995 Apr;17(3):251-61.

Temperament in eating disorders.

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Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


This study examined dimensional personality and temperamental characteristics in women with eating disorders. Clinical symptoms, personality, and temperament were examined in 30 women with anorexia nervosa (AN), 32 women with bulimia nervosa with no history of anorexia nervosa (BN), and 20 women with comorbid anorexia and bulimia nervosa (AB). Temperament differed markedly across the groups on the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) with AN women showing greater reward dependence, BN women scoring higher on novelty seeking subscales, and AB women showing high harm avoidance. The TPQ subscales also displayed higher classification accuracy than other personality and symptom measures. Temperamental features are distinct across eating disorder subtypes. Temperament could reflect differential vulnerabilities for the development of specific eating disorder symptom clusters.

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