Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


A diagnosed eating disorder sample was compared with a sample of medical outpatients on interpersonal behavior traits and spiritual well-being. Instruments used included the Interpersonal Behavior Survey and the Spiritual Well-Being Scale. A demographic questionnaire was also administered to explore the relationship between demographic variables and the measures of interpersonal behavior traits and spiritual well-being. The sample included all Caucasian female subjects between ages 17-60, representing a range of financial conditions, educational levels, and marital status. Data analysis using an ANOVA with Scheffe post-hoc test demonstrated that the eating disorder inpatient group differed significantly from the medical outpatients in assertiveness, aggressiveness, relationship variables, and spiritual well-being. Inpatients with eating disorders were lower in assertiveness, higher in aggressiveness, more dependent and more shy than the medical outpatients. Both inpatients and outpatients with eating disorders experienced less existential, religious, and spiritual well-being than the medical outpatients. The implications of this study are relevant for both diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. The use of the IBS with patients with eating disorders may be helpful in ascertaining specific problems with aggressiveness, assertiveness, and interpersonal relationships. The clear distinction between assertiveness and aggressiveness provided by the IBS will help to eliminate the danger of increasing aggression through "assertiveness training." The existential and spiritual well-being of individuals with eating disorders are areas that deserve attention by those treating eating disorders.

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