Personality traits comparison between eating disorder patients and their healthy siblings

Zaida Agüera, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Roser Granero, Eva Penelo, Gudrun Wagner, Andreas Karwautz, Nadine Riesco, José Manuel Menchón, Fernando Fernández-Aranda

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The aims of the study were threefold: 1) analyze differences in symptomatology and general psychopathology among eating disorder (ED) patients and their sisters discordant for eating disorders, 2) identify differential personality vulnerabilities between ED patients and their healthy sisters and 3) identify predictors of developing an eating disorder. The sample consisted of 92 female participants (46 ED patients fulfilling DSM-IV-TR criteria for eating disorders vs 46 healthy sisters). The results showed significant differences in eating symptomatology and general psychopathology. In terms of personality traits, ED patients had higher harm avoidance (p<.001) and lower self-directedness (p<.001) compared with their discordant sister. Finally, the results showed that having a history of obesity or overweight (p=.027), and specific traits of temperament (high scores on harm avoidance; p=.025) and character (low self-directedness; p=.009) were associated with the development of an ED. These findings allow to conclude that the combination of non-shared environmental factors such as obesity with specific vulnerabilities of personality, influence the subsequent emergence of an eating disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-61
JournalRevista Mexicana de Trastornos Alimentarios
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Eating disorders
  • Obesity
  • Personality traits
  • Predictors
  • Siblings


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