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Psychological Profiles of Women with a Past or Present Diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa

Author(s): Rachel Bachner-Melman | Ada H. Zohar | Ilana Kremer | Richard P. Ebstein

Journal: The Internet Journal of Mental Health
ISSN 1531-2941

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: anorexia nervosa | personality | recovery

Objective: To examine the relationship between anorexia nervosa (AN) subtype, recovery status, and personality profile. Methods: 195 women with lifetime AN (17 ill, 107 partially recovered, 71 recovered) and 242 controls completed measures of obsessiveness, perfectionism, fear of failure, endorsement of the thin ideal, self-esteem, harm avoidance, novelty seeking, persistence, and reward dependence. Results: Subtypes differed only on novelty seeking (lower for restricting AN). Controls differed significantly in the expected direction from all AN groups on almost all variables. Group scores (except persistence and novelty seeking) were ranked linearly from highest to lowest in the order of ill women, partially recovered, recovered, and then controls. Conclusion: Personality traits of women recovered from AN differ from those of controls (and may be premorbid risk factors), possibly predict prognosis, and may regress to the mean to some extent with recovery. Personality may both predict and correlate with AN; there is an urgent need for longitudinal research to confirm this.
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