Personality pathology in purging disorder and bulimia nervosa


  • Part of this work was presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society in Brooklyn, NY.



To compare levels of personality pathology in women with purging disorder (PD), bulimia nervosa (BN), and controls and to compare women with PD and BN on associations between personality pathology and shared eating disorder features.


Women with BN (n = 73), PD (n = 48), and controls (n = 64) completed interviews and self-report questionnaires.


BN and PD were associated with significantly greater personality pathology compared to controls. Cluster C symptoms and trait anxiety were greater in BN compared to PD, but groups did not differ on Cluster B symptoms or impulsivity. Subjective binge episodes were associated with anxious and impulsive personality traits in PD but not BN. Purging in PD was associated with trait anxiety, while purging in BN was associated with impulsivity.


Although BN and PD share eating disorder features and personality disturbance, some of the underlying associations between these eating disorder and personality features differ between groups. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.