Psychological resilience and depression in women with anorexia nervosa

Katarina Beroš, Lovorka Brajković, Vanja Kopilaš


Background: As with most mental disorders, a strong perceiving factor in the development of anorexia nervosa is exposure to severe life adversities. The success of adaptation to life situations represents the psychological resilience of the individual and is a potentially important factor in the prevention and treatment of mental disorder.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine the association of psychological resilience and depression with the presence and intensity of anorexia symptoms, and to examine the nature of the relationship between these variables.

Methods: The study was conducted on 68 participants (Mage = 24.74; SD = 5.530), where the clinic group of 31 participants (Mage 24.58 years; SD = 5.714) with anorexia nervosa was equivalently matched to the control group (n=37; Mage 24.86; SD = 5.448) in regard to relevant sociodemographic factors. A structured questionnaire of sociodemographic data, treatment data and body mass index, EDI-2, CD-RISC and BDI-II were administered.

Results: The study found that people with anorexia have a higher intensity of depression and significantly lower psychological resilience compared to the control group. People who experience a stronger intensity of eating disorder symptoms have lower psychological resilience. In addition, the results indicate that the symptom of eating disorders, ineffectiveness, is the strongest negative predictors of psychological resilience in people with anorexia.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest an important role of psychological resilience in the anorexia prevention, and the process of recovering from it. Moreover, they support the need for the integration of psychological resilience to existing treatment plans and prevention activities. 


Anorexia nervosa; Psychological resilience; Depression; Ineffectiveness.

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