This study sought to investigate independent associations of impulsivity and compulsivity with eating disorder (ED) symptoms. Women (N = 81) with full or subthreshold Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV anorexia nervosa (AN) completed a semi-structured interview and self-report questionnaires. Multiple regression analyses were conducted using ED symptoms as dependent variables and facets of impulsivity and compulsivity as predictor variables (controlling for body mass index and AN diagnostic subtype). For impulsivity facets, lack of perseverance was uniquely associated with eating concern, shape concern and restraint, whereas negative urgency was uniquely associated with eating concern and frequency of loss of control eating; neither sensation seeking nor lack of premeditation was uniquely associated with any ED variables. Compulsivity was uniquely associated with restraint, eating concern and weight concern. Results support independent associations of impulsivity and compulsivity with ED symptoms in adults with AN, suggesting potential utility in addressing both impulsive and compulsive processes in treatment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants R01DK61912 and P30DK60456 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and grants R01MH059674, K23MH101342 and K02MH65919 from the National Institute of Mental Health.
- eating pathology