Personality traits and self-injurious behaviour in patients with eating disorders

Jennie Ahrén-Moonga, Sven Holmgren, Lars von Knorring, Britt Af Klinteberg
European Eating Disorders Review: the Journal of the Eating Disorders Association 2008, 16 (4): 268-75
The interest in different aspects of personality and the neuropsychological basis for behaviour in eating disorder patients has increased over the last decade. The present study aims at exploring personality traits, self-injurious behaviour (SIB) and suicide attempts in a group of severely ill eating disorder patients. Patients with eating disorders (N = 38) and age-matched controls (N = 67) were examined concerning self-reported personality traits by means of the Karolinska scales of personality (KSP). Psychosocial history and SIB was collected from medical records. Depression was rated by means of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Results indicated significantly higher anxiety-related and detachment traits in both anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) patients and higher hostility in BN patients than controls. No specific personality traits could be defined as typical for self-injurious or suicidal behaviour. The AN group was lower than the BN group on scales measuring impulsivity, guilt and anxiety. Furthermore, presence of SIB and suicide attempts was more frequent among the BN patients.

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