Genetic relationships between personality and eating attitudes and behaviors

Kelly L. Klump, Matt McGue, William G. Iacono

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35 Scopus citations


Genetic and environmental factors underlying relationships between personality traits and disordered eating were examined in 256 female adolescent twin pairs (166 monozygotic, 90 dizygotic). Eating behaviors were assessed with the Total Score, Body Dissatisfaction, Weight Preoccupation, Binge Eating, and Compensatory Behavior subscales from the Minnesota Eating Disorders Inventory (M-EDI; K. L. Klump, M. McGue, & W. G. Iacono, 2000). Personality characteristics were assessed with the Negative Emotionality, Positive Emotionality, and Constraint scales from the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ; A. Tellegen, 1982). Model-fitting analyses indicated that although genetic factors were more likely to contribute to MPQ and M-EDI phenotypic associations than environmental factors, shared genetic variance between the 2 phenotypes was limited. MPQ personality characteristics may represent only some of several genetic risk factors for eating pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-389
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


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