ERIC Number: ED412466
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr-5
Reference Count: N/A
The Relationship between Sexual Abuse and a Bulimic Behavior: Findings from Community-Wide Surveys of Female Adolescents.
Perkins, Daniel F.; Luster, Tom
Reviews of the pertinent literature reveal a lack of consensus as to whether there is an association between sexual abuse history and eating disorders. Therefore, an examination of the relationship between sexual abuse and a bulimic behavior (purging) in a large sample of female adolescents was undertaken. Answers taken from a sample of 8,680 female adolescents and involved 43 middle and high schools in 36 communities throughout a Midwestern state, who filled out the Search Institute's Profiles of Student Life: Attitude and Behavior Questionnaire, were used for this research. The results indicate that a relationship does exist between sexual abuse and purging. Moreover, this relationship remained significant even when several other factors were included in the analysis. For example, a significant relationship was found between physical abuse and bulimia. The identification of significant familial and extra-familial factors related to bulimia did not seem to confound the relationship between sexual abuse and bulimia. Ethnicity was also found to be associated with bulimic behaviors. It is noted that these results are limited by the measurement instrument used. Future research is needed to examine what leads to successful coping among female adolescents as not all teens with a history of abuse engage in bulimic behaviors. Contains 26 references. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Lutheran Brotherhood, Minneapolis, MN.
Authoring Institution: N/A