Impulsivity and compulsivity in bulimia nervosa

Scott G. Engel, Stephanie J. Corneliussen, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Ross D. Crosby, Daniel Le Grange, Scott Crow, Marjorie Klein, Anna Bardone-Cone, Carol Peterson, Thomas Joiner, James E. Mitchell, Howard Steiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Objective: A primary objective of the current article is to investigate the relationship between impulsivity and compulsivity in patients with bulimia nervosa (BN). A second goal is to explore the relationship between impulsivity and compulsivity and related psychiatric problems. Method: Two-hundred four females with BN completed several measures of impulsivity and compulsivity as well as measures of personality, substance use, eating pathology, and depression. Results: Participants reported considerable variability on measures of impulsivity and compulsivity and these scores were positively correlated with each other. Impulsive-compulsive groups differed in personality, substance use, eating, and depression. Conclusion: These findings suggest that impulsivity and compulsivity can coexist in BN patients and that both traits may provide useful information about comorbid problems in women with BN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Compulsivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Psychiatric problems


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