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Eat Behav. 2007 Jan;8(1):23-30. Epub 2004 Sep 22.

Trauma and multi-impulsivity in the eating disorders.

Author information

1
Eating Disorders Service, South West London and St. George's Mental Health NHS Trust, United Kingdom. Emma.Corstorphine@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Multiple impulsive behaviours are common in the eating disorders, and multi-impulsive patients appear to do more poorly in treatment. However, comparatively little is known about the origins of multi-impulsivity in such cases. This study addresses the links between reported childhood trauma and multi-impulsivity in the eating disorders, examining whether specific types of trauma are predictive of specific impulsive behaviours in this population.

METHOD:

The sample consisted of 102 individuals who met strict criteria for an eating disorder, and who were interviewed regarding trauma history and comorbid impulsive behaviours.

RESULTS:

Any reported history of childhood trauma was associated with a higher number of impulsive behaviours and with the presence of multi-impulsivity. Childhood sexual abuse was particularly important, and was associated with self-cutting, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse (amphetamines, cocaine, cannabis and 'other substances', including ketamine and benzodiazepines).

DISCUSSION:

These findings indicate the importance of considering the psychological consequences of trauma during both assessment and treatment of the eating disorders. In particular, eating-disordered women who report a history of childhood sexual abuse should be examined for a pattern of comorbid impulsive behaviours.

PMID:
17174848
DOI:
10.1016/j.eatbeh.2004.08.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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