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Eat Behav. 2006 Nov;7(4):404-9. Epub 2006 Jan 23.

Childhood maltreatment in adult female psychiatric outpatients with eating disorders.

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Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Lade, Trondheim, Norway.


To explore possible relations between maltreatment in childhood and subsequent eating disorders in adult life, 107 consecutive adult psychiatric female outpatients were screened for eating disorders. They also completed questionnaires about harassment by adults and bullying by peers in childhood. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire measured childhood abuse by parents or other adults, and the Parental Bonding Instrument captured parental coldness and overprotection. Bullying by peers was measured by an inventory used in schools. Outpatients who met the criteria for bulimia nervosa reported far more bullying by peers, more coldness and overprotection from fathers, and more childhood emotional, physical and sexual abuse. The findings suggest associations between childhood maltreatment, especially bullying by peers, and bulimia nervosa.

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