Worry and Rumination in Anorexia Nervosa

Helen Startup*, Anna Lavender, Anna Oldershaw, Richard Stott, Kate Tchanturia, Janet Treasure, Ulrike Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Difficulties with comprehending and managing emotions are core features of the pathology of anorexia nervosa (AN). Advancements in understanding aetiology and treatment have been made within other clinical domains by targeting worry and rumination. However, worry and rumination have been given minimal consideration in AN. Aims: This study is the largest to date of worry and rumination in AN. Method: Sixty-two outpatients with a diagnosis of AN took part. Measures of worry, rumination, core AN pathology and neuropsychological correlates were administered. Results: Findings suggest that worry and rumination are elevated in AN patients compared with both healthy controls and anxiety disorder comparison groups. Regression analyses indicated that worry and rumination were significant predictors of eating disorder symptomatology, over and above the effects of anxiety and depression. Worry and rumination were not associated with neuropsychological measures of set-shifting and focus on detail. Conclusions: The data suggest that worry and rumination are major concerns for this group and warrant further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-316
Number of pages16
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attention
  • Awareness
  • Culture
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychometrics
  • Thinking
  • Young Adult
  • Acknowledged-BRC
  • Acknowledged-BRC-13/14


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