Subjective self-control and behavioural impulsivity coexist in anorexia nervosa.

Department of Psychology, University of Greenwich, Eltham, London SE9 2UG, UK.
Eating Behaviors (Impact Factor: 1.58). 07/2005; 6(3):221-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2004.11.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Anorexia nervosa (AN) has been associated with impulse regulation problems. This study investigated subjective and behavioural impulsivity in women with anorexia nervosa (n=15) and a control group (n=16).
A self-report measure (the impulsiveness, venturesomeness, and empathy questionnaire; I(7)) and two behavioural measures (a continuous performance task [CPT]; and a novel risk taking measure [Bets 16]) of impulsivity were used along with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
The AN group had elevated BDI scores and lower self-reported impulsiveness and venturesomeness scores, but they also displayed impulsive behaviour on the CPT (more errors of commission with faster reaction times).
The coexistence, in AN, of self-reported self-control and behavioural impulsivity indicates that the relationship between impulsivity and disordered eating in AN is more complex than previously recognised and supports the view that self-awareness in AN is low.

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