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Br J Psychiatry. 1993 Jun;162:771-5.

Sexual abuse and eating disorders. Borderline personality disorder as a mediating factor?

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University of Birmingham, School of Psychology, Edgbaston.


Sexual abuse appears to be causally linked to eating disorders, particularly those involving bulimic features. However, the psychological factors that mediate between these two phenomena are not understood. Recent findings suggest that borderline personality disorder may explain some of the association. The present research investigates the potential links between reported sexual abuse, borderline personality disorder, and eating psychopathology in a case series of 100 women with eating disorders. The results suggest that borderline personality disorder is a psychological factor that explains a small part of the causal link between sexual abuse and bulimic behaviour--especially frequency of bingeing. However, other factors are likely to be involved, and further research is suggested to investigate these.

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