Childhood sexual abuse and adolescent eating disorder : findings from the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort study

Sanci, Lena, Coffey, Carolyn, Olsson, Craig, Reid, Sophie, Carlin, John B. and Patton, George C. 2008, Childhood sexual abuse and adolescent eating disorder : findings from the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort study, Archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine, vol. 162, no. 3, pp. 261-267.

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Title Childhood sexual abuse and adolescent eating disorder : findings from the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort study
Author(s) Sanci, Lena
Coffey, Carolyn
Olsson, CraigORCID iD for Olsson, Craig
Reid, Sophie
Carlin, John B.
Patton, George C.
Journal name Archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine
Volume number 162
Issue number 3
Start page 261
End page 267
Total pages 7
Publisher American Medical Association
Place of publication Chicago, Ill.
Publication date 2008
ISSN 1072-4710
Summary Objective: To examine the relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) before the age of 16 years and later onset of bulimia and anorexia nervosa symptoms in females.

Design: A longitudinal cohort study of adolescents observed from August 1992 to March 2003. The cohort was defined in a 2-stage cluster sample using 44 Australian schools in Victoria.

Setting: Population based.

Participants: A total of 1936 persons participated at least once and survived to the age of 24 years, including 999 females. The mean (SD) age of females at the start of follow- up was 14.91 (0.39) years; and at completion, 24.03 (0.55) years.

Main Exposure: Self-reported CSA before the age of 16 years was ascertained retrospectively at the age of 24 years.

Outcome Measures: Incident Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition)–defined partial syndromes of anorexia and bulimia nervosa were identified between waves 4 (mean age, 16.3 years) and 6 (mean age, 17.4 years) using the Branched Eating Disorder Test.

Results: The incidence of bulimic syndrome during adolescence was 2.5 (95% confidence interval, 0.80-8.0) times higher among those who reported 1 episode of CSA and 4.9 (95% confidence interval, 1.9-12.7) times higher among those who reported 2 or more episodes of CSA, compared with females reporting no episodes, adjusted for age and background factors. The association persisted after adjusting for possible confounders or mediators measured 6 months earlier, including psychiatric morbidity and dieting behavior. There was little evidence of an association between CSA and partial syndromes of incident anorexia nervosa.

Conclusion: Childhood sexual abuse seems to be a risk factor for the development of bulimic syndromes, not necessarily mediated by psychiatric morbidity or severe dieting.
Language eng
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, American Medical Association
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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