Psychological correlates of purging disorder as compared with other eating disorders: An exploratory investigation

Erin L. Fink, April R. Smith, Kathryn H. Gordon, Jill M. Holm-Denoma, Thomas E. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: Keel et al.3 introduced the diagnostic category of purging disorder (PD), an eating disorder characterized by recurring purging behaviors in the absence of objective binges. The current study sought to investigate psychological correlates among individuals with a lifetime diagnosis of PD as compared to those with other eating disorders, and those with no eating disorder. Method: The current sample included 294 ethnically diverse undergraduate women. Subjects diagnosed with different types of eating disorders [i.e., anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and purging disorder (PD)] were compared to one another, as well as to individuals with no eating disorder on a variety of indices. Results: Women with PD displayed similar levels of drive for thinness as women with AN and BED. Individuals with BN and BED exhibited anxiety levels significantly higher than those with PD. Those with PD displayed levels of impulsivity that were significantly higher than those of individuals with AN or BED, but significantly lower than those of individuals with BN. They also displayed similar levels of bulimic symptoms as those with AN and BED; however, analysis of item 53 on the EDI revealed that those with PD had similar levels of purging ideation as those with BN. Women with any eating disorder diagnosis were more likely to have a comorbid Axis I disorder than women in the non-eating disorder group. Conclusion: Our data replicated and extended the findings of Keel et al. and gave further support to the validity and distinctiveness of PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychological correlates of purging disorder as compared with other eating disorders: An exploratory investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this