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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1995 Jan;91(1):5-9.

Life events and severe anorexia nervosa in adolescence.

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Department of Psychology, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.


The purpose of the study was to study the influence of life events on adolescent patients suffering from anorexia nervosa. Twenty one hospitalized adolescent inpatients with severe anorexia nervosa were compared with 79 adolescent nonanorectic psychiatric inpatients and 40 healthy adolescents for stressful life events throughout their lives. The nonanorectic patients suffered from schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder or conduct disorder. The assessment of the contribution of life events to the development of anorexia and the control mental disorders was based on semistructured interviewing of the patients, their parents and the patients' therapists. The instrument used was that developed by Pfeffer. The anorectic patients showed significantly higher negative life event scores than healthy controls in all the areas of life events examined. In addition, they showed significantly more negative life events concerning parents than patients in the other psychiatric diagnostic categories. These findings have relevance for the growing literature on the association between eating disorders and certain forms of child abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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