Childhood abuse and eating disorders in gay and bisexual men

Authors

  • Matthew B. Feldman PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Medical and Health Research Association of New York City, Inc., New York, New York
    2. National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., New York, New York
    • National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 71 W. 23rd Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10010
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  • Ilan H. Meyer PhD

    1. Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York
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Abstract

Objective:

This study examines the association between eating disorders and a history of childhood abuse in gay and bisexual men, and how substance abuse and depression might impact this relationship.

Method:

193 white, black, Latino gay, and bisexual men were sampled from community venues. DSM-IV diagnoses of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder were assessed using the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

Results:

Men with a history of childhood sexual abuse are significantly more likely to have subclinical bulimia or any current full-syndrome or subclinical eating disorder compared with men who do not have a history of childhood sexual abuse. A history of depression and/or substance use disorders did not mediate this relationship.

Conclusion:

Researchers should study other potential explanations of the relationship between a history of childhood abuse and eating disorders in gay and bisexual men. Clinicians working with gay and bisexual men who have a history of childhood abuse should assess for disordered eating as a potential mechanism to cope with the emotional sequelae associated with abuse. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007.

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