Does the tendency to act impulsively underlie binge eating and alcohol use problems? An empirical investigation
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The co-occurrence of problem drinking and binge eating and purging has been well documented. However, there has been relatively little investigation of etiological models that may influence the development of this co-occurrence. This study tests the hypotheses that impulsivity is heightened in eating disordered women compared with controls, and that women with comorbid bulimia and alcohol use disorders show higher impulsivity than bulimic-only women. The Impulsivity scale, BIS/BAS scales, State Anxiety Inventory, and a behavioural measure of reward responsiveness (CARROT) were administered to 22 women with bulimia, 23 women with comorbid bulimia and alcohol abuse/dependence, and 21 control women. As hypothesised, eating disordered women scored higher than controls on several self-report measures of impulsivity and sorted cards faster during a financially rewarded trial on the behavioural task. Also, as predicted, comorbid women scored higher than bulimic women on the Impulsivity scale. These findings suggest that individual differences in impulsiveness and a tendency to approach rewarding stimuli may contribute to developing these disorders.
Personality and Individual Differences: an international journal of research into the structure and development of personality and the causation of individual differences
© 2004 Elsevier : Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher : This journal is available online - use hypertext links.