Personality heterogeneity in female adolescent inpatients with features of eating disorders

Christopher J. Hopwood, Emily B. Ansell, Dwain C. Fehon, Carlos M. Grilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined evidence for personality variability in adolescents with eating disorder features in light of previous evidence that personality variability in adult women with eating disorder symptoms carries important clinical implications. Method: Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory personality data from adolescent girls with disturbed eating who were psychiatrically hospitalized were cluster analyzed, and resulting groups were compared in eating and comorbid psychopathology. Results: Three subgroups were identified among the 153 patients with eating disorder features: high functioning, internalizing, and externalizing. The internalizing group was marked by eating-related and mood dysfunction; the externalizing group by elevated eating and mood psychopathology as well as impulsivity, aggression, and substance use; and the high-functioning group by lower levels of psychopathology and relatively high self-esteem. Conclusions: These findings converge with previous research using different personality models in adult samples and highlight the clinical use of considering personality heterogeneity among adolescent and adult women with disturbed eating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-591
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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