Klum p, K. L. , Mcgee, M. , & Icono, W. G. (2002).
Genetic Relationship Between Personality and Eating Attitudes and Behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 380-389. Retrieved October 10, 2003 from Ovid database. In this study, the researchers originally took 676 16-18-year-old twins (111 twins did not complete part or all of the study and were therefore excluded) and analyzed their scores on the Minnesota Eating Disorders Inventory (M-EDI) and the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). The Minnesota Twin Family Study (MTF S) added some items of their own to the M-EDI questionnaire to "assess the use of compensatory behaviors." The researchers were looking for "relationships between personality characteristics and disordered eating attitudes and behaviors." Previous studies have found an increase in the negative affectivity scores in persons with anorexia nervosa and also bulimia nervosa. They have also suggested that individuals with eating disorders have less optimism and positive affect, and those affected by bulimia tend to score higher on scales of "impulsivity, novelty seeking, and behavioral dis inhibition." This study also showed a relationship between the negative emotionality scores on the MPQ and the M-EDI.
This study suggests that genetics contribute to personality characteristics that may predispose people to eating disorder attitudes and behaviors. Such characteristics include a "tense, anxious disposition" as well as a predisposition to be nervous and pessimistic. These characteristics may make girls more likely to center their attention on their bodies during puberty. These characteristics may also interact with environmental stress to "create eating symptoms and disorders." The study also suggests that "non shared environmental factors contribute significantly to certain personality and disordered eating relationships, particularly between neuroticism and negative emotionality and overall disordered eating and binge eating." However, along with many other studies, this study has limitations as well. Prospective studies as well as larger sample sizes are needed. This study also relied on self-report assessments and other methods should be assessed to see if the same results are obtained.