Prevalence and risk of experiences of intimate partner violence among people with eating disorders: a systematic review

J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Sep;47(9):1134-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.04.014. Epub 2013 May 22.


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence and risk of lifetime and past year intimate partner violence (IPV) among males and females with eating disorders.

Methods: Systematic review. We searched 15 electronic databases, supplemented by hand searching, citation tracking, updating a review on victimisation and mental disorder and expert recommendations.

Results: Eight papers were included, involving 6775 females and 4857 males. Individual studies reported that eating disorders are associated with a high prevalence and increased odds of lifetime IPV among both males and females. Evidence is lacking on eating disorder and past year IPV, on whether associations between eating disorder and IPV vary by type of IPV, and temporality.

Discussion: More research is needed to investigate the strength and nature of the association between eating disorders and IPV, including with regards to the direction of causality between eating disorders and IPV, and whether associations are mediated by childhood abuse.

Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Bulimia nervosa; Domestic violence; Eating disorder; Intimate partner violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*