Taxometric Investigation of Multi-Impulsive Bulimia
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Previous researchers have proposed that Multi-impulsive Bulimia (MIB), a constellation of self-destructive impulsive behaviours including theft, self-harm, suicide attempts, sexual disinhibition, and substance use, may be a distinct sub-type of Bulimia Nervosa (BN). Prior to this study, the validity of MIB as a subtype of BN had not been empirically examined. In the current study, taxometric procedures were used to address the question of whether MIB represents a distinct subtype or occurs on one or more continua. Participants were women (N = 419) diagnosed with BN seeking treatment at a residential eating disorders facility. Taxometric procedures used were mean above below minus a cut, maximum covariance, and latent mode analyses. Indicators were bulimic behaviours (bingeing and purging), theft, suicide attempts, self-harm and alcohol use. Analyses included comparisons with simulated taxonic and dimensional data. Results were inconsistent across analyses, perhaps due to problems with indicator validity. However there was some evidence of taxonicity.