Journal of Personality Disorders vol:20 issue:4 pages:401-416
A three factor model of personality pathology was investigated in a clinical sample of 335 female eating disordered patients. Cluster analysis of the Big Five NEO-FFI scales (Costa & McCrae, 1992) yielded three distinct personality profiles, which were consistent with previous studies: (1) a resilient/high functioning cluster with no clinical elevations on the NEO-FFI scales; (2) an undercontrolled/emotionally dysregulated cluster with elevated scores on the Neuroticism scale and low scores on Conscientiousness and Agreeableness; (3) an overcontrolled/constricted cluster showing high scores on Neuroticism and Conscientiousness and low scores on Openness to Experience. Comparing the three personality prototypes with respect to Axis I and Axis II disorders, resilients reported systematically less clinical and personality problems than both undercontrollers and overcontrollers. Compared to the latter, undercontrollers showed more impulsive personality features and behaviors. Finally, cluster membership was not clearly associated with eating disorder subtypes, suggesting that there is considerable variance in personality features and/or pathology within the various eating disorder categories.