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The intellectual functioning of adolescents with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa

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The aim of this study was to investigate the intellectual functioning of a large group of eating disordered adolescents in order to test two hypotheses, viz, that the intellectual functioning of eating disordered adolescents conforms to the normal distribution, and that eating disordered adolescents do not perform better in verbal abilities than in nonverbal abilities. Standard intelligence tests were applied to 190 consecutive out- and inpatients with eating disorder diagnoses. The results were compared with those of a group of patients with other disorders, similar in age, sex, SES, and year of admission. The IQ of the eating disordered patients was significantly higher than that of patients in the comparison group. Patients in the comparison group and bulimic patients, but not anorexic patients, showed better nonverbal than verbal intellectual performance.

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Blanz, B.J., Detzner, U., Lay, B. et al. The intellectual functioning of adolescents with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 6, 129–135 (1997).

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