Article: article from journal or magazin.
Personality trait risk factors for attempted suicide among young women with eating disorders.
Publication types: Journal Article
OBJECTIVE: - Clinical observations and a review of the literature led us to hypothesize that certain personality and character traits could provide improved understanding, and thus improved prevention, of suicidal behaviour among young women with eating disorders. METHOD: - The clinical group consisted of 152 women aged between 18 and 24 years, with DSM-IV anorexia nervosa/restrictive type (AN-R = 66), anorexia nervosa/purging type (AN-P = 37), bulimia nervosa/non-purging type (BN-NP = 9), or bulimia nervosa/purging type (BN-P = 40). The control group consisted of 140 subjects. The assessment measures were the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-second version (MMPI-2) scales and subscales, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) used to control for current depressive symptoms, plus a specific questionnaire concerning suicide attempts. RESULTS: - Suicide attempts were most frequent in subjects with purging behaviour (30.0% for BN-P and 29.7% for AN-P). Those attempting suicide among subjects with eating disorders were mostly students (67.8%). For women with AN-R the scales for 'Depression' and 'Antisocial practices' represented significant suicidal risk, for women with AN-P the scales for 'Hysteria', 'Psychopathic deviate', 'Shyness/Self-consciousness', 'Antisocial Practices', 'Obsessiveness' and 'Low self-esteem' were risk indicators and for women with BN-P the 'Psychasthenia', 'Anger' and 'Fears' scales were risk indicators. CONCLUSION: - This study provides interesting results concerning the personality traits of young women with both eating disorders and suicidal behaviour. Students and those with purging behaviour are most at risk. Young women should be given more attention with regard to the risk of suicide attempts if they: (a). have AN-R with a tendency to self-punishment and antisocial conduct, (b). have AN-P with multiple physical complaints, are not at ease in social situations and have antisocial behaviour, or (c). if they have BN-P and tend to be easily angered with obsessive behaviour and phobic worries. The MMPI-2 is an interesting assessment method for the study of traits indicating a risk of suicidal behaviour in young subjects, after controlling for current depressive pathology.
Adolescent, Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Eating Disorders, Female, Humans, MMPI, Middle Aged, Personality Disorders, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Severity of Illness Index, Suicide, Attempted
Web of science
Last modification date