Childhood emotional neglect related to posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and body mass index in adult women

Psychol Rep. 2009 Aug;105(1):111-26. doi: 10.2466/pr0.105.1.111-126.


The relationships among the severity of childhood abuse and neglect, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and adult obesity were investigated. 207 women (M age = 26.5 yr., SD = 6.7) completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Millon Clinician Multiaxial Inventory, and a demographic questionnaire. Analyses of variance indicated that women who reported moderate-to-extreme emotional neglect (n = 71) had significantly higher PTSD scores and increased BMI compared to women who reported low emotional neglect (n = 84). Women who reported severe sexual or emotional abuse also had higher PTSD scores, but no relationship was found with BMI when other factors were controlled. Although PTSD scores and self-reported severity of childhood emotional neglect were strongly correlated (r = .61, p < .001), PTSD was not found to be a mediating factor in obesity in women who reported childhood emotional neglect, although depression was.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / diagnosis
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires