Psychological Medicine



Personality characteristics of women before and after recovery from an eating disorder


KELLY L. KLUMP a1c1, MICHAEL STROBER a1, CYNTHIA M. BULIK a1, LAURA THORNTON a1, CRAIG JOHNSON a1, BERNIE DEVLIN a1, MANFRED M. FICHTER a1, KATHERINE A. HALMI a1, ALLAN S. KAPLAN a1, D. BLAKE WOODSIDE a1, SCOTT CROW a1, JAMES MITCHELL a1, ALESSANDRO ROTONDO a1, PAMELA K. KEEL a1, WADE H. BERRETTINI a1, KATHERINE PLOTNICOV a1, CHRISTINE POLLICE a1, LISA R. LILENFELD a1 and WALTER H. KAYE a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital, Tulsa, OK; Klinik Roseneck, Hospital for Behavioral Medicine (affiliated with the University of Munich), Prien, Germany; New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains, NY; Department of Psychiatry, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Program for Eating Disorders; Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, ND; Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnologies, University of Pisa, Italy; Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; Center of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Article author query
klump kl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
strober m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
bulik cm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
thornton l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
johnson c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
devlin b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
fichter mm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
halmi ka   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kaplan as   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
blake woodside d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
crow s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mitchell j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rotondo a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
keel pk   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
berrettini wh   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
plotnicov k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
pollice c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lilenfeld lr   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kaye wh   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Background. Previous studies of personality characteristics in women with eating disorders primarily have focused on women who are acutely ill. This study compares personality characteristics among women who are ill with eating disorders, recovered from eating disorders, and those without eating or other Axis I disorder pathology.

Method. Female participants were assessed for personality characteristics using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI): 122 with anorexia nervosa (AN; 77 ill, 45 recovered), 279 with bulimia nervosa (BN; 194 ill, 85 recovered), 267 with lifetime histories of both anorexia and bulimia nervosa (AN+BN; 194 ill, 73 recovered), 63 with eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS; 31 ill, 32 recovered), and 507 without eating or Axis I disorder pathology.

Results. Women ill with all types of eating disorders exhibited several TCI score differences from control women, particularly in the areas of novelty-seeking, harm avoidance, self-directedness, and cooperativeness. Interestingly, women recovered from eating disorders reported higher levels of harm avoidance and lower self-directedness and cooperativeness scores than did normal control women.

Conclusions. Women with eating disorders in both the ill and recovered state show higher levels of harm avoidance and lower self-directedness and cooperativeness scores than normal control women. Although findings suggest that disturbances may be trait-related and contribute to the disorders' pathogenesis, additional research with more representative community controls, rather than our pre-screened, normal controls, is needed to confirm these impressions.


Correspondence:
c1 Dr Kelly L. Klump, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1116, USA. (Email: klump@msu.edu)


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