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Keywords:

  • Bulimia nervosa;
  • affective lability;
  • emotion regulation;
  • impulsivity

Abstract

Objective:

The primary aim of this study was to examine the role of affective lability in maladaptive behaviors in a sample of women who meet DSM criteria for current bulimia nervosa (BN).

Method:

Participants were administered a semistructured diagnostic interview (SCID-P) and only those who currently met criteria for BN (N = 134) were included in the analyses. All other data were collected through the use of self-report questionnaires.

Results:

Affective lability significantly predicted the Impulsive Behavior Scale score (sr = 0.21, t = 2.64, p < .009, f2 = 0.06) and excessive reassurance seeking (sr = 0.21, t = 2.74, p < .007, f2 = 0.06), even when controlling for age, depressive symptoms, state and trait anxiety, and general impulsivity.

Discussion:

The degree to which individuals with BN experience labile emotions is associated with several indicators of dysregulated behavior such that higher levels of affective lability predict a more severely dysregulated behavioral profile. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009