Self-monitoring in anorexia nervosa

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2009 Mar;55(2):170-9. doi: 10.1177/0020764008094647.


Background: A possible connection between Mark Snyder's concept of self-monitoring and anorexia nervosa (AN) has not previously been examined.

Aims: We hypothesized that AN symptomatology correlates positively with the Other-Directedness aspect of Snyder's self-monitoring construct and negatively with its Extraversion aspect.

Method: 194 women with a history of AN were classified as currently ill (n = 17), partially recovered (n = 106) and recovered (n = 71).These women and 100 female controls with no history of an eating disorder completed Snyder's Self-Monitoring Scale (SMS) and the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26). ;Other-Directedness' and ;Acting and Extraversion'subscales were derived from an exploratory factor analysis of the Hebrew version of the SMS. Mean total and subscale scores were compared across groups, and correlations were calculated between EAT-26 scores and SMS total and subscale scores.

Results: Both subscales of the SMS correlated significantly with total scores but not with one another. As expected, AN symptomatology and EAT-26 scores were associated positively with Other-Directedness yet negatively with Acting and Extraversion, rendering the correlation with total SMS scores insignificant.

Conclusion: Different aspects of Snyder's self-monitoring construct correlate in opposite directions with eating pathology and AN symptomatology. AN appears to be associated with high Other-Directedness but low Acting and Extroversion.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa*
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult