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ADHD symptomatology in eating disorders: a secondary psychopathological measure of severity?


Abstract

BACKGROUND: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has commonly been described in psychiatric disorders. Although several studies have found positive associations between abnormal eating patterns during childhood and ADHD, there is a lack of studies on ADHD and Eating Disorders (ED). The aims of this exploratory study were 1) to assess the ADHD symptoms level in ED and to ascertain whether there are differences among ED subtypes; 2) to analyze whether the presence of ADHD symptoms is associated with more severe eating disorder symptoms and greater general psychopathology; and 3) to assess whether the ADHD symptoms level is associated with specific temperament and character traits.

METHODS: 191 female ED patients were included. Assessment was carried out with the EDI-2, ASRS-v1.1, the SCL-90-R and the TCI-R.

RESULTS: The ADHD symptoms level was similar in bulimia, eating disorder not otherwise specified and binge eating subtypes, and lower in anorexic patients. Obsessiveness and Hostility were significantly positively associated with ADHD symptoms. A path model showed that ADHD was associated with high Novelty Seeking and low Self-Directedness, whereas ED severity was influenced by ADHD severity and low Self-Directedness.

CONCLUSIONS: Bingeing/purging ED subtypes have a high ADHD symptoms level, also related with more severe eating, general and personality psychopathology

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has commonly been described in psychiatric disorders. Although several studies have found positive associations between abnormal eating patterns during childhood and ADHD, there is a lack of studies on ADHD and Eating Disorders (ED). The aims of this exploratory study were 1) to assess the ADHD symptoms level in ED and to ascertain whether there are differences among ED subtypes; 2) to analyze whether the presence of ADHD symptoms is associated with more severe eating disorder symptoms and greater general psychopathology; and 3) to assess whether the ADHD symptoms level is associated with specific temperament and character traits.

METHODS: 191 female ED patients were included. Assessment was carried out with the EDI-2, ASRS-v1.1, the SCL-90-R and the TCI-R.

RESULTS: The ADHD symptoms level was similar in bulimia, eating disorder not otherwise specified and binge eating subtypes, and lower in anorexic patients. Obsessiveness and Hostility were significantly positively associated with ADHD symptoms. A path model showed that ADHD was associated with high Novelty Seeking and low Self-Directedness, whereas ED severity was influenced by ADHD severity and low Self-Directedness.

CONCLUSIONS: Bingeing/purging ED subtypes have a high ADHD symptoms level, also related with more severe eating, general and personality psychopathology

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:31 Oct 2017 09:44
Last Modified:16 Feb 2018 20:09
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-244X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244x-13-166
PubMed ID:23758944

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