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Cognitive-affective status in anorexia nervosa: self-image and absence of positive emotions

Journal article
Authors Suzanna Lundblad
Jonas Magnusson
Bertil Hansson
Trevor Archer
Published in Clinical and Experimental Psychology
Volume 1
Issue 1
ISSN 2471-2701
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Anorexia – eating disorder – alexithymia – affect – healthy controls – patients.
Subject categories Psychology


The relationships between eating disorder patterns (Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire), alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale) and cognitive-affective (Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule) status in forty-nine patients presenting AN in an age- and education-matched comparison with thirty-four healthy controls were investigated. AN patients expressed higher levels of restraint, eating concern, shape concern, weight concern and a higher global score on the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire. These responses were accompanied by higher scores on Emotional identifying, Emotional describing, Emotional orientation and Total scoring on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. AN patients expressed also less positive affect (PA) and more negative affect (NA) than the healthy matched controls. Linear regression analysis indicated that three factors predicted the AN condition, namely Shape concern (β = 0.689) and Weight concern (β = 0.570) whereas PA was counter-predictive (β = -0.291), whereas for the Control condition, only PA was predictive (β = 0.350). The present findings are discussed from a perspective of documented regional brain dysfunctions underlying cognitive and emotional domains that have been obtained from neuro-imaging studies of anorexia.

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