Prevalence of personality disorders and their clinical correlates in outpatient adolescents with anorexia nervosa

Santino Gaudio, Vincenzo Di Ciommo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate personality disorder (PD) comorbidity and its clinical correlates in a sample of adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) and to compare them with similar studies on adults. Methods: One hundred one female AN outpatients (16-18 years old)-57 with AN restrictive type and 44 with AN binge-purging type-and 71 age-matched, healthy, female participants were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Disorders. Five selected clinical variables of AN severity were also assessed. Results: Overall, 24.8% of AN outpatients had one or more PD compared with 4.2% of the control participants (p <.001). PDs most frequently found in AN outpatients were avoidant, borderline, and obsessive-compulsive. Associations were found between AN binge-purging type and borderline PD and between AN restrictive type and obsessive-compulsive PD. AN outpatients with a PD had an earlier age of onset of AN (mean [standard deviation {SD}] = 15.4 [1.2] versus 16.1 [0.9], p = .002), lower lifetime lowest BMI (mean [SD] = 14.8 [1.5] versus 15.6 [1.3], p = .01), and more hospital admissions for AN (mean [SD] = 1.4 [0.9] versus 0.3 [0.6], p <.001) compared with those without PDs. Conclusions: Associations were found between AN and PDs in adolescents similar to those found in adults. The presence of a PD is associated with a greater severity of AN. PD assessment of adolescent AN patients may permit a more accurate diagnosis and better treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-774
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • adolescence
  • comorbidity
  • eating disorders
  • personality disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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