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Keywords:

  • perfectionism;
  • personality;
  • disordered eating;
  • eating disorders

Abstract

Objective:

Perfectionism has been reported as a specific risk factor for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, but not binge eating disorder. This study examined whether these differences are due to differential associations between perfectionism and specific eating disorder behaviors.

Method:

Participants (N = 2,482) completed the eating disorders inventory perfectionism scale and a questionnaire assessing eating disorder symptoms.

Results:

Perfectionism was associated with an array of disordered eating behaviors in women. However, associations were strongest for fasting and purging. Further, the association between binge eating and perfectionism was statistically mediated by fasting. In men, perfectionism was significantly associated only with fasting, and this association was greater than associations with other disordered eating behaviors.

Conclusion:

Results explain why previous studies have reported weak or inconsistent associations between perfectionism and binge eating and may inform etiological models of EDNOS characterized by fasting or purging. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006