ADDICTIVE ASPECTS IN ANOREXIA NERVOSA AND BULIMIA (EATING DISORDERS)
AuthorSchnaps, Laura Sue Schwimmer
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAddictive patterns in anorexia nervosa and bulimia were examined in eighty one women between eighteen and forty years of age. Women were assigned to five groups based upon their eating behavior as follows: Group 1--Normal Comparison Group (no eating disorder; no substance abuse disorder); Group 2--Drug-Alcohol Comparison Group (no eating disorder; diagnosable substance abuse disorder); Group 3--Bulimic (bulimia without presence of anorexia nervosa; no substance abuse disorder); Group 4--Bulimic Anorectic (bulimia with presence of anorexia nervosa, either past or present; not substance abuse disorder); and Group 5--Eating Disordered With Drug-Alcohol Problem (bulimia with or without the presence of anorexia nervosa, either past or present; diagnosable substance abuse disorder). Addictive patterns were examined using a variety of personality and self-report measures including: The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Partial Addiction Research Center Inventory (ARCI-P), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), Rotter Internal-External Locus of Control Scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. It was hypothesized that the three eating disordered groups would share similar behavior patterns when compared to the normal and drug-alcohol comparison groups but would differ significantly from one another when just the three eating disordered groups were compared. The Eating Disordered With Drug-Alcohol Group would manifest the most pathology followed by the Bulimic Anorectic Group and then the Bulimic Group. The use of univariate analysis of variance and multiple discriminant function analysis confirmed these hypotheses. Variables that best discriminated among the groups were in the hypothesized direction and pertained to depression and impulsivity on the MMPI, efficiency and general drug effect on the ARCI-P and extraversion and low self-esteem on the Rotter and Rosenberg respectively. The study revealed that the patterns of pathology reflected in the eating disordered groups were in the predicted direction and are similar to the behavior and personality patterns observed in women with other addictions. Such findings have particular implications for the treatment of bulimic anorectics, as current treatment procedures are least effective with this eating disordered subgroup.