Personality Traits after Recovery from Eating Disorders: Do Subtypes Differ?

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Abstract

Objective:

We compared individuals recovered from anorexia (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) to determine characteristics that are shared by or distinguish eating disorder (ED) subtypes.

Method:

Sixty women recovered for ≥ 1 year from AN or BN were compared with 47 control women (CW). Assessments included the Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorder Scale, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, the Temperament and Character Inventory, and Structured Clinical Interviews for DSM-IV.

Results:

Individuals recovered from an ED had similar scores for mood and personality variables that were significantly higher than the scores for CW. Few recovered subjects had Cluster B personality disorder. Most individuals recovered within 6 years of their ED onset. A latent profile analysis identified an “inhibited” and “disinhibited” cluster based on personality traits.

Conclusion:

A wide range of symptoms persist after recovery and do not differ between subtypes of ED. These findings may aid in identifying traits that create vulnerabilities for developing an ED.

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