Eating-disordered patients with and without self-injurious behaviours: a comparison of psychopathological features




A considerable number of eating-disordered patients also display all kinds of self-injurious behaviours (SIB), which might be viewed as an indicator of psychopathological severity.


To test this hypothesis in 70 females admitted to a specialized treatment programme for eating disorders, a wide spectrum of psychopathological features was studied by means of self-reporting questionnaires: clinical symptomatology, personality disorders, aggression regulation, trauma history, dissociation and body experience. A comparison was made between patients with (n = 27) and without SIB (n = 43), as well as between patients with one (n = 13) versus more types (n = 14) of SIB.


In general, patients with SIB reported significantly more complaints or signs of anxiety, depression, hostility, cluster B personality disorders, feelings of anger, traumatic experiences, dissociation and negative appreciation of body size. The presence of more than one type of SIB was linked to a more pronounced clinical symptomatology and trauma history. . Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.