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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorder;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder;
  • perfectionism

Abstract

Objective

Perfectionism and obsessionality are core features of eating disorders (ED), yet the nature of their relation remains unknown. Understanding the relation between these traits may enhance our ability to identify relevant behavioral endophenotypes for ED.

Method

Six-hundred seven individuals with anorexia and bulimia nervosa from the International Price Foundation Genetic Study were assessed for perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Results

No differences were found across ED subtypes in the prevalence of OCPD and OCD, nor with the association between OCD and OCPD. Perfectionism scores were highest in individuals with OCPD whether alone or in combination with OCD.

Conclusion

Perfectionism appears to be more closely associated with obsessive-compulsive personality symptoms rather than OCD. The pairing of perfectionism with OCPD may be a relevant core behavioral feature underlying vulnerability to ED. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.