The Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire: an exploration of personality traits in eating disorders

J Psychiatr Res. 1994 Sep-Oct;28(5):413-23. doi: 10.1016/0022-3956(94)90001-9.


The Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) was tested in four subgroups of eating-disorder patients: anorectic-restrictors (AN-R), anorectic-bulimics (AN-B), normal weight bulimics (BN), and bulimics with a past history of anorexia (B-AN). Normal controls and patients were matched for gender and age. All subjects completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) in addition to the TPQ. AN-Rs scored lower on the Novelty Seeking scale than the bulimic groups and controls, and the two normal weight bulimic groups had higher Novelty Seeking scores than the controls. On the Harm Avoidance scale, all eating disorder groups scored significantly higher than the control group. In addition, the AN-Rs scored lower than the AN-Bs and B-ANs. The Harm Avoidance scale and depression scores were positively correlated while the Reward Dependence scale and depression scores were negatively correlated. Differences between diagnostic groups on the Novelty Seeking and Persistence scales remained clearly significant when depression was partialled out. These results are discussed in terms of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire as a stable measure of traits with eating disorder subjects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Exploratory Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Personality*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*


  • Neurotransmitter Agents