Personality disorders in bulimic women: A study of personality profiles measured by the revised Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Carolyn S. Garwood - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether certain personality disorders are more likely than others to be exhibited by bulimics. In addition, research was conducted to determine if there is a positive relationship between severity of personality disorder and severity of bulimia.Subjects were 51 voluntary females 18 to 61 years of age recruited from a population of women who were currently seeking help for their eating disorders. Bulimic symptoms were measured by the Bulimia Test (BULIT), and personality disorders were measured by the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II (MCMI-II). A questionnaire provided data on subjects' demographic information.A stepwise multiple regression analysis identified histrionic, antisocial, aggressive and self-defeating as the personality disorder subscales most likely to be endorsed by the bulimic group. A stepwise discriminant analysis found that antisocial personality disorder differentiated the bulimic group from the nondifferentiated clinical female group, however, the amount of variance explained was only 4%. A one-way analysis of variance indicated no positive relationship among the three groups of personality disorder severity on their BULIT score for severity of bulimia.A post hoc analysis was conducted utilizing a t-test collapsing the least and mildly severe personality disorder groups into one group. This group was then compared to the most severe personality disorder group. No significant differences were found between the groups' severity of bulimia. However, in both the one-way analysis of variance and the t-test, the mean BULIT score for the most severe group was 6 points higher than the less severe groups. This result suggested a trend in the direction of a positive relationship between severity of personality disorder and severity of bulimia.


Psychology, Personality

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