Thesis

Childhood trauma and influence on eating disorders

A greater amount of empirical research utilizing adult (Buhsnell, Wells, & Oakley-Brown, 1992; Dansky, Brewerton, Kilpatrick, & O'Neil, 1997, Garfinkel et al., 1995 Pribor & Dinwiddie, 1992; Steiger & Zankow, 1990; Wonderich, Donaldsonet al., 1996; Wonderlich, Wilsnack, Wilsnack & Harris, 1996) and child (Brewerton, Ralston, & Hand, 1998; Wonderlich et al., in press) samples, evoke that a history of child abuse is associated with disturbances in eating. Several studies reveal a connection between other forms of maltreatment and eating disorders (Rorty, Yager, & Rossotto, (1994), implying that childhood trauma, described broadly, might be linked with eating disturbances. A current review of this literature concluded that childhood sexual abuse seems to be a considerable risk factor for bulimia nervosa, specifically when there are increased degrees of psychotic comorbidity is present (Wonderlich, Brewerton, Jocic, Dansky, & Abbott, 1997). Therefore, in response to the necessity for additional information and training on the relationship between eating disorders and child abuse, the project's curriculum is designed to increase knowledge among graduate students in marriage and family therapy. The literature review explores the diagnosis, co-morbidity and morality rates, epidemiology, historical context and the link among abuse and eating disorders.

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