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
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    • "Further support for our results is provided by another study (Bégin et al., 2012), that examined personality differences between overweight/obese women with and without FA and found that women with FA were more similar to women with substance use disorder than women without FA, particularly in regard to impulsivity and self- directedness. Research has shown that harm avoidance is common to all ED subtypes and significantly higher in patients compared to controls (Cassin and Von Ranson, 2005; Lilenfeld et al., 2006; Atiye et al., 2015). In our study, both ED groups had values beyond the norms of general population (see SupplementaryFigure S1), but no significant association was found between this temperament factor and a higher rate of FA. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate if eating disorder patients differ in specific personality traits depending on a positive screening of food addiction and to find a model to predict food addiction in eating disorder patients using measures of personality and impulsivity. Methods: 278 patients having an eating disorder self-reported on food addiction, impulsivity, personality, eating and general psychopathology. Patients were then split into two groups, depending on a positive or negative result on the food addiction screening. Analysis of variance was used to compare means between the two groups. Stepwise binary logistic regression was used to obtain a predictive model for the presence of food addiction. Results: Patients with food addiction had lower self-directedness, and more negative urgency and lack of perseverance than patients not reporting addictive eating. The probability of food addiction can be predicted by high negative urgency, high reward dependence, and low lack of premeditation. Conclusions: Eating disorder patients who have more problems to pursue tasks to the end and to focus on long-term goals seem to be more likely to develop addictive eating patterns.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Frontiers in Psychology
    • "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.
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    • "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.
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