Personality disorders and personality dimensions in anorexia nervosa

A Karwautz, N A Troop, S Rabe-Hesketh, D A Collier, J L Treasure

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper

49 Citations (Scopus)


Information on the relationship between anorexia. nervosa (AN) and personality disorders (PDs) and dimensions of temperament and character (measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory [TCI; Cloninger, Przybeck Svrakic, & Wetzel, 1994]) is limited. This study examines the predictive validity of the TCI for PD diagnoses assessed by the International Personality Disorder Examination-ICD-10 (IPDE-ICD-10; Loranger, Janca, & Sartorius, 1997) interviews of 46 women with DSM-IV-defined AN. Patients with a PD reported higher levels of harm-avoidance and lower levels of self-directedness than those without a PD. Scores on the TCI were predictive of the number of PD features present, particularly for those PDs in the anankastic, anxious, and dependent groups accounting for 40% to 51% of the variance. Cluster analysis based on scores on the TCI identified a subgroup of patients characterized by low levels of novelty seeking, self-directedness, and cooperativeness and high levels of harm avoidance. This cluster included the majority of those with avoidant, anxious, or dependent PDs. Assessment of particular personality dimensions was able to predict PDs in an anorexic sample. Since normal personality dimensions have greater validity than the categorical PDs, a consideration of normal temperament and character may assist in clinical decisionmaking and considerations concerning treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73 - 85
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003
EventAnnual Meeting of the Eating-Disorders-Research-Society - PRIEN AM CHIEMSEE, Germany
Duration: 1 Jan 2003 → …


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