Eating disorders and personality: A methodological and empirical review. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 299-320

Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta 30302-5010, USA.
Clinical Psychology Review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 06/2006; 26(3):299-320. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.10.003
Source: PubMed


Methodological approaches utilized to evaluate models of the relationship between personality and eating disorders, as well as empirical support for each model, are reviewed. Limited prospective research suggests that negative emotionality, perfectionism, drive for thinness, poor interoceptive awareness, ineffectiveness, and obsessive-compulsive personality traits are likely predisposing factors. Limited family study research suggests that obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and anorexia nervosa share a common familial liability. Potential pathoplastic personality factors include Cluster B personality disorders and OCPD, which predict a poorer course and/or outcome, and histrionic personality traits and self-directedness, which predict a more favorable course and/or outcome. Future research should focus upon sophisticated prospective and family study research in order to best evaluate competing models of the eating disorder-personality relationship.

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Available from: Lisa R R Lilenfeld, Jan 05, 2015
    • "A study by Stein and Corte (2007) found that both patients with AN and BN had an impaired self-identity and a negative self-schema compared to controls. Moreover, women with ED were found to be less capable of describing their internal states and their emotions (Corcos et al., 2000; Eshkevari et al., 2012; Lilenfeld et al., 2006; Matsumoto et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine in depth the individual experience of transition from pregnancy to motherhood, among women with current eating disorders (EDs), focusing on differences between the first and subsequent pregnancies. Design and methods: We analysed the narratives of 12 women with severe ED during pregnancy using interpretative phenomenological analysis. We employed a sequential structure, and the emerging themes were ordered according to consecutive pregnancy stages. Results: Our results indicate that experiences of pregnancy vary across pregnancy stages and in the first pregnancy compared to subsequent pregnancies. In particular, during their first pregnancy women with an ED seem to experience an inner conflict and questioned the continuity of their ED identity leading them to be more open to change. Conclusions: The first pregnancy, during its early stages, should be considered a potentially unique window for intervention for women with current ED. Practitioner points: Eating disorders (EDs) are known to seriously affect fertility, pregnancy, and pregnancy outcomes. Our research sheds a light on experiences of pregnancy in women with ED and ultimately helps to define a window for intervention. Our findings have important implications in understanding mechanisms of relapse in the post-partum period and consequently could help in tailoring an adequate intervention for women with ED and in preventing ED relapse.
    10/2015; DOI:10.1111/papt.12076
    • "The remaining variance is typically explained by nonshared environmental factors. Given this, it is important to understand whether the relationship between personality traits and disordered eating is a result of common causal factors (as opposed to independent etiologic factors; Lilenfeld et al., 2006) and whether these common causal factors are primarily genetic or environmental in origin. Such findings can point researchers in the direction of specific genetic/biological and/or environmental risk processes that account for both phenotypes and can inform our understanding of transactional risk processes between genetic and environmental factors in the etiology of eating pathology. "
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    ABSTRACT: Eating disorders are severe psychiatric disorders with a complex etiology involving transactions among sociocultural, psychological, and biological influences. Most research and reviews, however, focus on only one level of analysis. To address this gap, we provide a qualitative review and summary using an integrative biopsychosocial approach. We selected variables for which there were available data using integrative methodologies (e.g., twin studies, gene-environment interactions) and/or data at the biological and behavioral level (e.g., neuroimaging). Factors that met these inclusion criteria were idealization of thinness, negative emotionality, perfectionism, negative urgency, inhibitory control, cognitive inflexibility, serotonin, dopamine, ovarian hormones. Literature searches were conducted using PubMed. Variables were classified as risk factors or correlates of eating disorder diagnoses and disordered eating symptoms using Kraemer et al.'s (1997) criteria. Sociocultural idealization of thinness variables (media exposure, pressures for thinness, thin-ideal internalization, thinness expectancies) and personality traits (negative emotionality, perfectionism, negative urgency) attained 'risk status' for eating disorders and/or disordered eating symptoms. Other factors were identified as correlates of eating pathology or were not classified given limited data. Effect sizes for risk factors and correlates were generally small-to-moderate in magnitude. Multiple biopsychosocial influences are implicated in eating disorders and/or disordered eating symptoms and several can now be considered established risk factors. Data suggest that psychological and environmental factors interact with and influence the expression of genetic risk to cause eating pathology. Additional studies that examine risk variables across multiple levels of analysis and that consider specific transactional processes amongst variables are needed to further elucidate the intersection of sociocultural, psychological, and biological influences on eating disorders. © 2015 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 06/2015; 56(11). DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12441 · 6.46 Impact Factor
    • "The specific role of interoceptive awareness (identifying and differentiating between somatic and affective cues), or what Merwin et al. (2010) refer to as clarity, has received less attention in the IE literature, yet it is a core element of emotion awareness, which is a principle of behavior change that has received more attention and empirical support in recent years (Boswell, 2013; Kircanski, Lieberman , & Craske, 2012). As described above, many individuals with eating disorders evidence impaired perceptions of interoceptive cues (Brown et al., 2010; Kaye, Fudge, & Paulus, 2009; Lilenfeld et al., 2006; Pollatos et al., 2008). Therefore, IE may be a potent intervention strategy through its ability to both improve interoceptive clarity and modify interoceptive sensitivity marked by negative reactivity and nonacceptance of somatic signals (be it hunger and satiety or anxious arousal). "
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    ABSTRACT: Interoceptive exposure (IE) was originally developed for the treatment of panic disorder. The scope of IE has recently expanded, as the transdiagnostic relevance of interoceptive constructs has become increasingly recognized in diverse problem areas. Despite high comorbidity rates with anxiety and recent attention to interoceptive constructs, IE has received minimal explicit attention in eating disorders. The conceptual and empirical literature supports IE as a transdiagnostic intervention strategy that can be integrated into cognitive‐behavioral therapy (CBT) for eating disorders. In this article, we (a) summarize the relevant literature on interoceptive constructs in eating disorders, (b) review common approaches to exposure in eating disorder treatment, and (c) provide a rationale and concrete suggestions for beginning to integrate IE more explicitly in eating disorder treatment.
    Clinical Psychology Science and Practice 06/2015; 22(2). DOI:10.1111/cpsp.12103 · 2.92 Impact Factor
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