ERIC Number: ED337735
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Eating Disorders as Sequelae of Sexual Abuse: A Review of the Literature.
White, Jama Leigh
The literature regarding the relationship between sexual abuse and eating disorders was reviewed. Overall, women with anorexia and bulimia seem to have similar to slightly higher incidences of childhood sexual abuse than has the general population. At the same times, rates of abuse among eating disordered women, including those who experienced adult sexual trauma, seem comparable to rates of abuse in the general psychiatric population. Other variables have been suggested as influencing the incidence of eating disorders subsequent to sexual abuse. Extrafamilial childhood sexual abuse and physical victimization, including rape and physical abuse, have been suggested as particularly related to bulimia. Parental lack of care and support has been identified as well as a common trait in eating disordered and abusive families. Conclusions are difficult to reach since few controlled studies have been conducted, and those with controls either covered a limited population or had limited statistical analysis. Without controlled studies, comparisons can only be made with percentage rates from different studies which almost invariably use different definitions of sexual abuse or eating disorders in obtaining their data. Such comparisons are therefore only speculative at best. To date the question of whether eating disorders and sexual abuse are related seems yet to be answered acceptably. (ABL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctoral Research Paper, Biola University.