Perfectionism, Self-Injurious Behaviour, and Functions of Anorexia Nervosa

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Csuzdi, Nicklaus
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University of Guelph

The following thesis outlines a study assessing the levels of perfectionism, self-injurious behaviour, and functions of anorexia nervosa (AN) through use of a cross-sectional online survey, among English speaking participants 15 years or older, self-reporting a current, previous, or suspected diagnosis of AN. Three distinct clusters were found using self-report measures from individuals with a current or suspected diagnosis, with each cluster corresponding to a unique theoretical understanding of AN. The three clusters can be distinguished by high asceticism, appearance, and avoidance of fertility/sexuality functions for AN respectively. Two distinct clusters were found for participants with a previous diagnosis of AN. These clusters can be differentiated by lingering sentiments held for the condition, as the first cluster viewed AN negatively, and the second cluster continued to see some benefits of the condition. Possible implications for understanding etiology, mechanisms, and treatment of AN are discussed.

anorexia nervosa, perfectionism, function, self-injurious behaviour, non-suicidal self-injury, asceticism, cluster analysis