Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale

Original Papers

Eating psychopathology and personality in eating disorders

Secondo Fassinoa1 c1, Giovanni Abbate-Dagaa1, Federico Amiantoa1, Federico Facchinia1 and Giovanni Giacomo Roveraa1

a1 Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Sezione Psichiatria, Servizio per i Disturbi del Comportamento Alimentare, Università di Torino, Torino


Summary Objective - The question of how many psychopathologic factors are involved in Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN) has no definite answer. The combination of psychopathology and personality research may shed a light upon the determinants of eating pathology. Methods - The study consists inthe administration of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) and the Eating Disorder Inventory 2 (EDI-2) to 95 outpatient anorectic women (50 restrictive and 45 binge-purging) and to 92 bulimic outpatientwomen (78 with and 14 without purging behaviours). The respective scores of each DCA subgroup are compared. Results - Restricter anorectics are characterised by lower novelty seeking on respect to all the other groups and by a higher self-directedness on respect to bingeing-purging anorectics and purging bulimics. Alsopsychopathologic differences between restricter anorectics and the other groups are extensive. Bingeing-purging anorexia shares many traits with bulimia. Conclusions - In their complex, data suggest and in-deep study aimed to a possible re-classification of EDs which would take impulsiveness in greater consideration. The differences in temperament and character traits may partially be responsible of the repression or discontrol of impulsive eating behaviours in different ED subtypes.

Declaration of Interest Authors received grants and research support from Regione Piemonte (Project no. 19701/27001).

(Received February 18 2003)

(Revised May 05 2003)

(Accepted May 06 2003)


c1 Address for correspondence: Professor S. Fassino, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Torino, Sezione Psichiatria, Via Cherasco 11, 10126 Torino. Fax: +39-011-673473; +39-011-6337080. E-mail: secondo.fassino@unito.it