Sexual abuse as a factor in eating disorders

  • Waller G
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Abstract

Clinicians have reported a link between sexual abuse and eating disorders, but research evidence to date has been equivocal in supporting that link. This study presents data on reported sexual abuse from 67 anorexic and bulimic patients. Bulimics were substantially more likely to report a history of unwanted sexual experience than anorexics. The method used (clinical interview v. questionnaire) did not affect reported rates of abuse. It is suggested that sexual abuse per se may not cause eating disorders, but may determine the nature of those disorders when they have been prompted by other factors.

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Authors

  • G. Waller

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