Boredom, alexithymia, and desire thinking in eating disorders: a cross-sectional study

Giuseppe Craparo, Oriana Gagliano, Giulia Costanzo, Valentina Lucia La Rosa, Alessio Gori, Leonardo Mendolicchio


Background: Eating disorders (ED) can be considered in terms of affective disorders. In this perspective, abnormal eating behaviors would be dysfunctional defensive behaviors related to difficulties to recognize and modulate traumatic emotional experiences. The aim of this study is to explore the associations between alexithymia, boredom, impulsiveness, and desire thinking in subjects with eating disorders.

Methods: 45 patients with ED and 45 healthy controls completed the following questionnaires: Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Multidimensional State Boredom Scale, Desire Thinking Questionnaire, Body Uneasiness Test and Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire.

Results: Our results seem to confirm that alexithymia, boredom, impulsivity, and desire thinking are strictly related in ED. In particular, difficulties in identifying feelings contribute to determine boredom experiences which, in turn, contribute significantly to structure body image disorders.

Conclusions: This study adds new insights into the associations between alexithymia, boredom, impulsiveness, and desire thinking in subjects with eating disorders. Future areas of investigation could better explore the role of boredom experiences in structuring body image dissatisfaction and its relationship with alexithymia.


Eating disorders; Boredom; Alexithymia; Desire Thinking; Impulsiveness.

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