Lifetime family violence exposure is associated with current symptoms of eating disorders among both young men and women

Authors

  • Sonya S. Brady

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, Minneapolis, MN
    • University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, 1300 South Second Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015
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Abstract

This study examines (a) whether different forms of lifetime family violence exposure are associated with current eating disorder symptoms among young adults, (b) whether current symptoms of depression and anxiety both mediate these links, and (c) whether findings differ by gender. Participants were 319 university students aged 18–20 years (56% male). Independent of gender, both direct victimization by family violence and witnessing family violence were associated with eating disorder symptoms. Symptoms of depression and anxiety partially mediated these associations, and results did not vary by gender. Findings suggest that depression and anxiety may play a role in the development and maintenance of eating disorder symptoms subsequent to repeated incidents of family violence exposure.

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