Ghandour, Bilal M., Madison Donner, Zoe Ross-Nash, Maryn Hayward, Madalyn Pinto, & Tara DeAngelis (2018). Perfectionism in past and present anorexia nervosa. North American Journal of Psychology, 20(3), 671-690.

Abstract: This study examines the connection between perfectionistic traits in individuals with present or past anorexia nervosa (AN) and compares them to individuals with no such history. Using Q sort, sixty-two undergraduate women were asked to rank order statements that were reflective of various aspects of perfectionism. Three distinct factors emerged: Factor A, The Adventurous and Flexible; Factor B, The Perfectionist; and Factor C, Routine. Factor A was largely represented by individuals with no past or present history of AN. Factor B almost exclusively consisted of women with a history of the disorder, providing robust evidence of a pattern of perfectionism in past and present anorectics alike that distinguishes them from their healthy counterparts. Factor C contained a combination of both groups and was descriptive of a mid-point position between the views and attitudes reflected in factors A and B. These results provide important guidelines on post-diagnostic treatment strategy for AN, namely the need for clinicians and caregivers to focus on how perfectionism traits continue to negatively impact the quality of life of women with a past history of anorexia.

Bilal M Ghandour <bghandour@elon.edu> is in the Department of Psychology, Elon University, Elon, NC (USA).

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