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Br J Clin Psychol. 1993 Sep;32 ( Pt 3):350-2.

Sexual abuse and body-image distortion in the eating disorders.

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  • 1School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK.


It has been suggested that there is a link between sexual abuse and bodily self-deprecation in women with eating disorders. In order to test that model, this study considers whether reported sexual abuse is associated with body-image distortion in anorexia and bulimia nervosa. There was no association with the reported presence of a history of abuse. However, the nature of any abuse was important. In particular, women who reported more recent abuse had a substantially greater level of bodysize overestimation. The clinical implications of this finding are discussed.

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