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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2000 December;41(4):205-22

language: Italian

Rorschach and anorexia nervosa. A study of 27 cases

Rossi G., Schweizer K., Colli C., Ricci M., Siani S., Sigali S., Lanzi G.


Background. There is an extensive amount of literature on anorexia nervosa while few studies have investigated the relation between anorexia nervosa and the Rorschach test. This study examines the psychopathological aspects emerging from the Rorschach test in adolescent subjects affected by this disorder.
Methods. The results of Rorschach test of 24 adolescents inpatients and 3 outpatients have been studied: these patients fulfilled DSM IV criteria corresponding to a diagnosis of restricting type anorexia nervosa (purging type in 4 cases). Subjects were divided into two groups according to age: group 1 age 11 years - 14 years plus 11 months (11 cases) and group 2 age 15-18 years (16 cases). Although there was no control group, comparison with a normal population was based on data from Ames (1979). Scores were performed according to Klopfer criteria (1971).
Results. Group 1 of only restricting anorexics appeared to be substantially similar to normal population, although they attempted to refuse female gender identity by denial of female body characteristics. Group 2 presented more diversified characteristics. In both groups there were no significant indices of comorbidity for depression nor obsessive disorder.
Conclusions. These results indicate that younger subjects present less severe psychopathological characteristics. Generally anorexia nervosa is not an expression of a typical personality structure nor of a specific psychopatology.

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