Temperament and Character in Italian Men with Anorexia Nervosa: A Controlled Study with the Temperament and Character Inventory

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Abstract

This study compares personality traits of men and women with anorexia nervosa and matched controls. The Temperament and Character Inventory was used to assess personality traits of 15 male and 50 female anorectics and 28 male and 58 female controls matched for age and education. Male anorectic patients displayed overall lower reward dependence and cooperativeness. Male and female anorectics displayed higher persistence and lower self-directedness than controls. Anorectic men had lower harm avoidance than anorectic women. Discriminating analysis revealed the anorectic male group as the most clearly defined. Anorectic men shared more traits with anorectic women than with male controls. Temperament and character of anorectic men reflect features partly similar to those of women with anorexia. Personal history and discriminating analysis led to interesting inferences about the gender identity of anorectic men. These results should be helpful in directing pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic approaches that consider the specific personality traits of these patients.

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