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Ten-year stability and predictive validity of five bulimia-related indicators
Am J Psychiatry 1997;154:1133-1138.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors examined the temporal stability and predictive utility of bulimic symptoms and related variables over the course of 10 years, from 1982 to 1992. METHOD: The subjects were 459 women who were aged 18-22 years in 1982 and were surveyed in both 1982 and 1992. Each respondent completed five subscales of the Eating Disorders Inventory (bulimia, drive for thinness, maturity fears, perfectionism, and interpersonal distrust) and answered questions based on the DSM-III criteria for bulimia nervosa. RESULTS: The temporal stability of bulimic symptoms and related variables was relatively high. Bulimic status in 1982 conferred an approximately 15-fold increase in risk 10 years later. Drive for thinness and, to lesser degrees, maturity fears and perfectionism received support as long-term predictors of bulimic symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Bulimic symptoms display high temporal stability and thus may affect long-term functioning and well-being. Later symptoms are related to scores on specific subscales of the Eating Disorders Inventory administered 10 years earlier. Assessment and therapy should be conducted accordingly.

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