Childhood and adulthood abuse in bulimic and nonbulimic women: Prevalences and psychological correlates
Article first published online: 20 MAR 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 33, Issue 4, pages 397–405, May 2003
How to Cite
Léonard, S., Steiger, H. and Kao, A. (2003), Childhood and adulthood abuse in bulimic and nonbulimic women: Prevalences and psychological correlates. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 33: 397–405. doi: 10.1002/eat.10176
- Issue published online: 20 MAR 2003
- Article first published online: 20 MAR 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 JUL 2002
- childhood abuse;
- adulthood abuse;
- bulimic women;
- nonbulimic women;
- psychological correlates
We evaluated associations between childhood physical and sexual abuse in bulimic women and eating disturbances, psychiatric symptoms, and likelihood of later abuse in adulthood.
Fifty-one bulimics and 25 normal eaters participated in this study. Semistructured interviews and self-report measures were used to assess eating symptoms, comorbid psychiatric disturbances, personality pathology, and childhood and adulthood abuse.
Compared with the normal eaters, bulimic women reported higher levels of childhood abuse. Although bulimic women showed more psychopathology than nonbulimic women, there was a correspondence between the presence and severity of abuse and the severity of concurrent psychopathologic symptoms. Results linked dissociation and submissiveness to most severe forms of abuse. Abuse in adulthood was almost always preceded by earlier abuse during childhood.
Our findings suggest an association between certain psychopathologic traits and the likelihood of abuse (especially when occurring both in childhood and adulthood). Observed associations could implicate causal effects of childhood abuse on personality development, influences of personality traits in heightening the risk of abuse, or both. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 397–405, 2003.