Impact of a history of physical and sexual abuse in eating disordered and asymptomatic subjects

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1998 May;97(5):358-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1998.tb10015.x.


The present study aimed to explore the impact of sexual and/or physical abuse among eating disordered patients (ED) and asymptomatic subjects. A total of 86 patients with anorexia nervosa, 69 patients with bulimia nervosa and 81 asymptomatic subjects were assessed. Among ED, we did not find a significant association between abuse experiences and the severity of the eating disorder, or between abuse and dissociative symptoms. Among ED, self-destructive behaviour appears to be the most important predictor of a history of sexual and/or physical abuse. In contrast, in the asymptomatic group, the score on the Dissociation Questionnaire is the only significant predictor of reported abuse experiences.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Bulimia / diagnosis*
  • Bulimia / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Development
  • Personality Inventory
  • Risk Factors