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Keywords:

  • interpersonal problems;
  • bulimia;
  • pathoplasticity;
  • assessment;
  • treatment matching

Abstract

Objective:

Recent research suggests that interpersonal problems and some forms of psychopathology are pathoplastic, or that they mutually affect one another in nonetiological ways. In the current study, the pathoplasticity of bulimic features and interpersonal problems was tested.

Method:

Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-64 data from 130 women with scores in the top quartile on the Bulimia scale of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 from a sample of 517 college undergraduates were cluster analyzed. Age, weight, and scores on psychopathology scales were tested for mean differences across the four quadrants of the interpersonal problems circumplex.

Results:

Consistent with the pathoplasticity hypothesis, cluster means did not differ on external variables. Furthermore, bulimic features and interpersonal problems independently predicted depression in the total sample.

Conclusion:

The interpersonal problems reported in the current study suggest differential treatment process that could inform the therapeutic relationship and help prevent premature termination. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007