An examination of personality and affective dimensions in women with intractable eating disorders
Ellis, Lisa L
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This study examined differences in personality functioning, personality disorders, personality traits, and the affective dimensions of depression, anxiety, and introspective awareness between women with intractable anorexia nervosa and intractable bulimia nervosa. The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III was used to measure personality functioning, personality disorders, depression and anxiety; while the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 was utilized to assess interoceptive awareness, perfectionism, and ineffectiveness between the two groups of women with eating disorders. The 35 sample participants met the following inclusion criteria: (a) 18 years of age or older (b) currently have an eating disorder diagnosis (c) currently in treatment for an eating disorder (d) have had a diagnosable eating disorder for a minimum of 5 years. Non-parametric independent t-tests, chi-square, and descriptive statistics revealed differences on the Compulsive, Antisocial, and Sadistic scales between the two groups, but not all within the personality disorder range. Other findings suggested that significantly more women with intractable bulimia nervosa obtained clinically significant scores on the Antisocial scale than women with intractable anorexia nervosa. There were also indications that the two groups of women converged on the clinical significance of the scores on the following scales Dependent, Avoidant, Masochistic, and Depressive. Overall, the findings of this study indicate that while there are expected differences in personality functioning between the two groups of women, there are also clinically significant personality functioning and disorders that the two groups share which may suggest that women with intractable anorexia nervosa and women with intractable bulimia nervosa share more aspects of personality functioning than those women whose eating disorders are not intractable.