Looking at Temperament in Anorexia Nervosa

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
September/October 2000 Volume 11, Number 5
©2000 Gürze Books

Some have hypothesized that temperament can be used as a potential predictor of binge eating and purging in persons with anorexia nervosa (AN). Kelly L. Klump, PhD, and colleagues at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic evaluated temperamental differences of 117 women with purging-type AN, 60 women with binge-purging type AN, and 827 women from the general community (control group) using Temperament and Character Inventory scores. As reported at the Academy for Eating Disorders annual meeting in New York in May, women with AN scored significantly higher on harm avoidance and significantly lower on cooperativeness than controls did. When the AN subtypes were examined, women with restricting-type AN and purging-type AN reported the lowest degree of novelty-seeking behavior, and purging-type anorexics had the highest degree of harm avoidance. The subgroup with restricting-type AN scored the highest on persistence and self-directness. Body mass index had only a nominal effect on differences among groups, suggesting that subtle temperamental differences occur independently of body weight.

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