Int J Eat Disord. 2005;37 Suppl:S68-71

Personality and anorexia nervosa.


Wonderlich SA, Lilenfeld LR, Riso LP, Engel S, Mitchell JE.



Department of Neuroscience, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Fargo, North Dakota 58102, USA. stephenw@medicine.nodak.edu

We provided a selective review of the relationship between anorexia nervosa (AN) and personality. They reviewed the existing empirical literature examining the relationship between AN and personality. In spite of continued methodologic challenges related to personality assessment, there appears to be a relatively common phenotype in restricting-type AN characterized by high degrees of obsessionality, restraint, and perfectionism. However, there is also evidence of variability within the AN diagnostic category that is related to personality variables. Importantly, personality variables may significantly predict the course and outcome of AN. Personality variables may be risk factors for AN, consequences of AN, share a common cause with AN, or affect the course and outcome of AN. This literature would be enhanced by the articulation of conceptual models of these relationships that can be empirically tested.

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