A comparison of purging and nonpurging eating-disordered outpatients

Mediating effects of weight and general psychopathology

Richard O'Kearney*, Robert Gertler, Janet Conti, Marian Duff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The present study compared purging and nonpurging eating- disordered outpatients on key behavioral and psychological features of their disorder. It also investigated the possible mediating effects of current level of depression, anxiety or general psychopathology, and current weight on differences between purgers and nonpurgers. Method: Seventy-seven patients from an outpatient eating disorder clinic who purged were compared to 48 clinic patients who did not purge on measures of eating behavior disturbances and specific psychopathology while controlling for weight, level of depression, anxiety, and general distress. Results: Purgers reported significantly more eating behavior disturbance and higher scores on measures of specific psychopathology than the nonpurgers. These differences were unrelated to current weight, level of anxiety, or general distress. However, severity of depression did moderate some of the difference between the groups. Conclusion: These data provide further support for the proposition that purging is a distinctive clinical marker in all types of eating- disordered patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Eating behavior disturbance
  • Nonpurgers
  • Purgers

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of purging and nonpurging eating-disordered outpatients: Mediating effects of weight and general psychopathology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this