Narcissistic characteristics and eating-disordered behaviors

Authors

  • Mari Campbell BSc, DClinPsy,

    Corresponding author
    1. Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, England
    2. Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, England
    • Child & Adolescent Eating Disorders Service, National & Specialist Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, Michael Rutter Centre for Children & Young People, Maudsley Hospital, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AZ
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  • Glenn Waller MClinPsychol, DPhil

    1. Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, England
    2. Vincent Square Eating Disorders Service, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, England
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Abstract

Objective

There is evidence that core narcissism and the narcissistic defenses have a role in the emotions and cognitions associated with the eating disorders. However, there is little understanding of its relationship with behaviors seen in this population. This study aimed to examine the relationship between narcissism and eating-disordered behaviors (e.g., bingeing and purging).

Method

The participants, 110 women presenting with an eating disorder, completed measures of narcissism and eating disorder psychopathology.

Results

Associations were found between patients who engaged in excessive exercise and levels of narcissism. There were also dimensional associations between eating-disordered behaviors and specific aspects of narcissism.

Discussion

Clinical implications and limitations of the study are discussed, and future directions for research suggested. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010; 43:560–564

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