Attitudinal dimensions in anorexia nervosa

Solomon C. Goldberg, Katherine A. Halmi, Elke D. Eckert, Regina C. Casper, John M. Davis, Margaret Roper

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40 Scopus citations


Although the most prominent feature of anorexia nervosa is weight loss, students of this disorder have noted a variety of attitudes which may underlie the patient's pursuit of thinnes. Since formal measures of these attitudes have not been available, the attempt was made to construct scales that would reflect attitudes considered to be typically held by anorexia nervosa patients. These scales were administered to 105 anorexia nervosa patients periodically over time in a study designed to test the effects of cyproheptadine and behavior modification on weight gain and on a variety of other characteristics in anorexia nervosa. The pretreatment values of the attitude scales were subjected to factor analysis with a yield of 15 relatively interpretable factors. Internal consistency reliability was found to be satisfactory in all but 2 of the 15 factors. The utility of these attitudinal factors in the study of anorexia nervosa was demonstrated in that attitudes (a) were found to be predictive of weight gain, (b) were found to be affected by drug treatment, (c) were found to be affected by behavior modification, and (d) showed differing amounts of change over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1979


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