Personality traits in women with anorexia nervosa: Evidence for a treatment-seeking bias?

Patrick S. Perkins, Kelly L. Klump, William G. Iacono, Matt McGue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: Several personality traits have been associated with anorexia nervosa (AN) in treatment-seeking samples of patients. The current study used a population-based sample to compare the personality characteristics of women with AN who sought treatment versus those who did not. Method: Participants included 27 (14 treatment-seekers, 13 non-treatment-seekers) women with threshold or sub-threshold AN and 273 (64 treatment seekers, 209 non-treatment seekers) comparison women from the Minnesota Twin Family Study. Personality was assessed with the higher-order factors and primary scales of the Multi-dimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). Results: Non-treatment-seeking women showed lower levels of negative emotionality, stress reaction, and alienation than treatment-seeking women. Discussion: These results suggest that personality deviations may be overestimated in treatment-seeking samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Non-treatment seekers
  • Personality traits
  • Treatment seekers

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