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Personality and affectivity characteristics associated with eating disorders: a comparison of eating disordered, weight-preoccupied, and normal samples


Personality and affectivity characteristics associated with eating disorders: a comparison of eating disordered, weight-preoccupied, and normal samples



Journal of Personality Assessment 73(1): 133-147



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-3891

PMID: 10497805

DOI: 10.1207/s15327752jpa730109

The purpose of this study was to assess the relative contribution of personality and emotional experience to self-reported eating attitudes in a group of patients with clinically diagnosed eating disorders, a weight-reduction training group (Weight Watchers), and a control group without body weight problems. Participants in this study (N = 114) completed Estonian versions of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2; Garner, 1991), NEO Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1989), and Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule, Expanded Form (Watson & Clark, 1994). Data demonstrated validity of the Estonian version of EDI-2 in its ability to identify problems on a continuum of disordered eating behavior. Among the Big Five personality dimensions, Neuroticism made the largest contribution to EDI-2 subscales. Two other dimensions, Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness, also predispose individuals to eating problems. Personality traits made a larger contribution to the self-reported eating pathology than the self-rated effects experienced during the last few weeks. It was argued that personality dispositions have a larger relevancy in the etiology of eating disorders than emotional state.

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Accession: 046959366

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