Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to assess individuals who suffer from bulimia and make a comparison with an equal number of subjects who do not suffer from bulimia. Literature has suggested that certain personality characteristics exist which may be correlated with the possibility of developing such a disorder. The data derived from the responses on the Tiffany Control Scales were gathered from volunteer subjects diagnosed with bulimia. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDl), Family Environment Scale (FES), and the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI), have all been utilized in previous research with bulimics. The purpose of utilizing them in this study was to determine if the results from these instruments will be consistent with the results from previous studies. This analysis, it was hypothesized, would show that data from all instruments is consistent with previous research and that the TCS was be useful in detecting specific personality characteristics of those diagnosed as having an eating disorder. Results indicated that the MMPI was partially consistent with previous results found when utilizing this instrument. Elevations occurred on scales 2, 4, 7, 8, 9 and the MAC. The BDI results supported previous research in that the bulimics scored higher with regard to depression than the non-bulimics. The FES results were also found to be consistent with previous research in that the bulimic family is less cohesive, experiences more conflict, and is more controlling than the families of the non-bulimic. Results on the EDI indicated that bulimics did have higher elevations on all of the scales of this instrument when compared to the non-bulimics. The Bulimia subscale of the EDI indicated no significant differences between the two groups. This finding may question the validity of this scale when used by itself in determining the existence of bulimia in subjects. The results indicated that the bulimic copes less well, and is more passive. Bulimic results also indicated that they perceive themselves as having less control over the environment and over themselves.


Phyllis G. Tiffany

Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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