Exploring the Relationship between Obsessive-compulsive Characteristics and Symptoms of Eating Disorders in a Nonclinical Population

John Paulson


Previous research has documented similarities between symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anorexia Nervosa, and Bulimia Nervosa and elevated comorbidity between these conditions in clinical samples, with the relationship between OCD and Anorexia being stronger than between OCD and Bulimia. Researchers adopting a continuum view of psychopathology have also found that individuals with sub-clinical expressions of obsessive-compulsive symptoms resemble their clinical counterparts in several ways. The goal of the current study was to explore whether or not the observed relationship between obsessive-compulsive symptoms and eating disorder symptoms observed in clinical populations would also be observed in a nonclinical population. 264 participants from a college sample completed self-report measures of these symptoms. A positive correlation was found between scores on obsessive-compulsive, anorexia and bulimia instruments, and reflective of their clinical counterparts the relationship between obsessive-compulsive and anorexia symptoms was more significant than the one between obsessive compulsive symptoms and bulimia symptoms. Implications and limitations for research and clinical practice are discussed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjss.v7n1p25


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