Is drive for thinness in anorectic patients associated with personality characteristics?




The objective was to compare clinical and personality features in anorectic patients (AN) with a high and low drive for thinness (DT).


The samples comprised 244 AN in- and outpatients at the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology (University of Gent) in Belgium. Subjects were assessed on clinical and psychometric parameters.


27 per cent (N = 62) of the subjects had low DT as measured by the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) of whom 48 were restricting anorectic patients (ANR). This atypical anorectic group appeared to have less severe psychopathology with a lower harm avoidance and higher self-directedness as subscales of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI).


Weight concerns is an important diagnostic criterion, but may have other motivations than a culture-bound drive for thinness. This differentiation may have therapeutic consequences. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.