Title

The Utility of Considering Interpersonal Problems in the Assessment of Bulimic Features

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2009

Department

Psychology

Language

English

Publication Title

Eating Behaviors

Abstract

Previous research suggests that heterogeneity in bulimic features can be explained in part by pathoplastic, or varying, interpersonal problems. The present study compared groups of women with bulimic features (N=11[sup]0) [/sup]defined by varying interpersonal problems (warm-dominant, warm-submissive, cold-submissive, or cold-dominant) with regard to comorbid psychopathology, personality characteristics, and the influences of dietary restraint and negative affectivity on bulimic psychopathology. As predicted, group differences were not explained by severity of eating-related pathology, socially desirable responding, or the interpretability of interpersonal profiles, although groups unexpectedly differed in depressive symptoms. The warm-submissive group had highest scores on adaptive personality characteristics, including, agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness. As hypothesized, the influence of negative affect and dietary restraint on bulimic symptoms differed as a function of interpersonal style, perhaps suggesting that interpersonal problem heterogeneity may mark different etiological pathways for bulimic psychopathology. Finally, interpersonal problems incremented bulimic features in predicting depressive symptoms. Overall, these results highlight the added value of considering pathoplastic interpersonal problems in addition to clinical diagnoses in the assessment of eating disorders.

Comments

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DOI

10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.07.007

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