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Self‐injurious Behaviours

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A considerable number of eating‐disordered patients also display all kinds of self‐injurious behaviours (SIB), which might be viewed as an indicator of psychopathological severity.


To test this hypothesis in 70 females admitted to a specialized treatment programme for eating disorders, a wide spectrum of psychopathological features was studied by means of self‐reporting questionnaires: clinical symptomatology, personality disorders, aggression regulation, trauma history, dissociation and body experience. A comparison was made between patients with (n = 27) and without SIB (n = 43), as well as between patients with one (n = 13) versus more types (n = 14) of SIB.


In general, patients with SIB reported significantly more complaints or signs of anxiety, depression, hostility, cluster B personality disorders, feelings of anger, traumatic experiences, dissociation and negative appreciation of body size. The presence of more than one type of SIB was linked to a more pronounced clinical symptomatology and trauma history. . Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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