The spectrum of bulimic behaviors and attitudes and the Five factor model of personality

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amanda R. Cobb (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rosemery Nelson-Gray

Abstract: Bulimia Nervosa is a serious and often debilitating mental disorder conceptualized as an endpoint along the spectrum of eating disorders, which ranges from normal eating and no preoccupation with weight to clinical eating disorders. Presently, little is known about what factors distinguish individuals who engage in behaviors in varying degrees of severity along the spectrum although there are indications that personality may be one distinguishing characteristic. This study explored the relationship between the Costa and McCrae's (1985; 1992) Five Factor Model of personality and the spectrum of bulimic behaviors and attitudes as measured by the Bulimia Test-Revised (Thelen, Farmer, Wonderlich & Smith, 1991) and the Eating Disorder Inventory-Third Edition (Garner, 2004) in 237 college females. Hierarchical regressions and partial correlations indicated that neuroticism was the only Five Factor Model domain uniquely associated with bulimic symptomology. Facets of impulsiveness, depression, and excitement-seeking were also associated with bulimic symptomology. Anxiety, a facet of Neuroticism, was not significantly associated with bulimic symptomology. An exploratory factor analysis revealed that bulimic symptomology forms its own factor and is not subsumed in Five Factor Model space, although facet impulsiveness and depression loaded onto the bulimic symptomology factor. These results suggest that individuals who possess personality traits of impulsiveness, excitement-seeking and depression are more likely to report bulimic symptomology. Prevention and treatment efforts may be modified based on these personality traits. Additional research is needed to determine the etiological role these personality factors may play in the development of bulimia. Additionally, the results of this study support facet versus factor or domain level analysis of the Five Factor Model."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
Bulimia Nervosa, mental disorder, eating disorder, factors, behaviors
Personality assessment

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