Personality Factors: The Role Of Perfectionism In Anorexia

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Personality factors are internal components, factors that are intrinsic within a person’s being. Several studies have identified personality traits that are common within anorexics and may be predictive factors for the disorder. Bastiani et al (1994) studied the role of perfectionism in Anorexia. They initially believed that perfectionism would be common among those with Anorexia because the disorder is often associated with structure and and high expectations. Perfectionism has been described as “…self-oriented perfectionism includes behaviors such as setting exacting standards for oneself and stringently evaluating and censuring one 's own behavior.” (Hewitt & Flett, 1991) The study used three different measures. The first was the Eating…show more content…
As Bastiani et al noted: “perfectionism may be an innate personality characteristic both existing in a malnourished state and persisting after nutritional rehabilitation.” An interesting result was that the control group scored similarly to the anorexic groups on the parental expectation sub-scale of Frost’s MPS and similarly on the Other-oriented perfectionism sub-scale of Hewitt’s MPS which suggests that this perfectionism is internal and not due to the expectations of others. This makes sense because Anorexia is intrinsically about control and exerting control by restricting what the body intakes. Perfectionists are more likely to need control in their life, and so especially if other facets of their lives are spinning out of control, eating is one way that they can retain…show more content…
The results showed that the heritability of AN was .56 within the narrow DSM-IV criteria and .31 within the broad DSM-IV criteria. The narrow criteria was the full DSM-IV criteria while the broad criteria was the full DSM-IV criteria with the exception of amenorrhea. This distinction is especially interesting due to the fact that the current DSM-V no longer requires amenorrhea to reach the full diagnostic criteria. The study’s result shows that heritability may have a significant impact on the development of Anorexia
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