Specific eating disorder clusters based on social anxiety and novelty seeking

E. Peñas-Lledó, S. Jiménez-Murcia, R. Granero, E. Penelo, Z. Agüera, E. Alvarez-Moya, F. Fernández-Aranda

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23 Citations (Scopus)


While social avoidance and distress (SAD), a key aspect of social phobia related to behavioral inhibition, is high in different eating disorders (EDs), novelty seeking (NS) is mainly linked to bulimic disorders. Since heterogeneity in NS levels (low/high) exists in social phobia and in about 55% of ED with a highly disturbed personality, we examined ED types based on SAD and NS and their relationships to eating and comorbid features.Scores of 825 ED women on SAD and NS were submitted to cluster analysis. Five clinically differentiated ED clusters emerged: two without SAD (45%) and three with high SAD and low (13%), mid (34%), high NS (8%) levels. High vs. low SAD groups showed greater eating and social impairment, ineffectiveness, ascetism, suicide attempts, and lower education. Among SAD clusters, " SAD-low NS" had the lowest rate of binge eating, vomit, substance use, stealing and compulsive buying, whereas " SAD-high NS" presented the opposite pattern. However, no differences across SAD clusters were found with regard to ED diagnostic category distribution or history of treatment. Findings show that SAD-ED types present heterogeneity of NS and greater severity. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-773
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Impulsivity
  • Novelty seeking
  • Personality traits
  • Social anxiety


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