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Child Abuse Negl. 2014 Mar;38(3):425-33. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.12.005. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

Childhood abuse, adult interpersonal abuse, and depression in individuals with extreme obesity.

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1
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500, USA.

Abstract

This study sought to examine (a) a mediational model of childhood abuse, adult interpersonal abuse, and depressive symptoms and (b) the impact of weight-related teasing on rates and correlates of childhood abuse. Charts of 187 extremely obese individuals seeking psychological clearance for bariatric (weight-loss) surgery were retrospectively examined. Among the participants, 61% reported a history of childhood abuse, 30.5% reported adult interpersonal abuse, and 15% reported clinically significant depressive symptoms. Initially, the relationship between childhood abuse and current depressive symptoms was significant (p<.001). However, the introduction of adult interpersonal abuse as a mediator in the model reduced the magnitude of its significance (Sobel's test p=.01). The associations between childhood abuse and adult interpersonal abuse and between adult interpersonal abuse and depressive symptoms were significant (p<.001 and p=.002, respectively), and the model showed a good fit across multiple indices. Finally, weight-related teasing was a significant moderator in the relationship between childhood and adult interpersonal abuse. Bariatric surgery patients report elevated rates of childhood abuse that are comparable to rates in psychiatric populations (e.g., eating disorders, depression), and higher than those in community samples and other medical populations. The relationship between child abuse and depressive symptomatology may be partially explained by the presence of adult interpersonal abuse; additionally, the relationship between childhood and adult interpersonal abuse was stronger for those who did not endure weight-related teasing than for those who did.

KEYWORDS:

Adult abuse; Childhood abuse; Depression; Obesity; Partner abuse; Weight-related teasing

PMID:
24412223
DOI:
10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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