Personality traits in women with anorexia nervosa: Evidence for a treatment-seeking bias?

Authors


Abstract

Objective

Several personality traits have been associated with anorexia nervosa (AN) in treatment-seeking samples of patients. The current study used a population-based sample to compare the personality characteristics of women with AN who sought treatment versus those who did not.

Method

Participants included 27 (14 treatment-seekers, 13 non-treatment-seekers) women with threshold or subthreshold AN and 273 (64 treatment seekers, 209 non-treatment seekers) comparison women from the Minnesota Twin Family Study. Personality was assessed with the higher-order factors and primary scales of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ).

Results

Non–treatment-seeking women showed lower levels of negative emotionality, stress reaction, and alienation than treatment-seeking women.

Discussion

These results suggest that personality deviations may be overestimated in treatment-seeking samples. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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