The hypothesis that patients with bulimia nervosa and restrained eaters exist on a simple continuum of psychopathology was tested in 60 Ss (20 bulimics, 20 restrained eaters, 20 unrestrained eaters). Regarding measures related to dieting behavior and physical appearance, the restrained eaters differed significantly from unrestrained eaters and were similar to bulimic patients except for level of psychopathology. The restrained eaters could not be distinguished from the unrestrained eaters with regard to measures representing interoceptive perception, depression, self-esteem, and fears about interpersonal relationships. On these traits, bulimic patients could be clearly distinguished from the normal Ss. The results support a 2-component model of the psychopathology of bulimia nervosa.
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