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Title:Child sexual abuse and disordered eating: The mediating role of impulsive and compulsive tendencies
Author(s):Dworkin, Emily R.
Advisor(s):Verona, Edelyn; Allen, Nicole E.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):child sexual abuse
disordered eating
impulse control
Abstract:Empirical evidence suggests that the relationship between child sexual abuse (CSA) and disordered eating is complex and mediated by a number of factors. Indeed, it appears that child sexual abuse may lead to tendencies toward impulsivity and compulsivity, which may promote disordered eating behaviors. This mediated relationship was explored in regards to the severity of self-reported child sexual abuse and disordered eating behavior dimensions (i.e., binge eating, compensatory behaviors) in an undergraduate nonclinical sample of men and women. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that impulsivity and compulsivity together accounted for the effect of child sexual abuse on binge eating (i.e., eating to excess) and compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, laxative use) as assessed through the Minnesota Eating Behavior Survey. Further, in the context of this model, compulsivity was a stronger mediator than impulsivity of child abuse effects on binge eating, while both impulsivity and compulsivity were important in understanding compensatory behaviors. The present study provides much-needed empirical evidence to clarify theoretical accounts of predispositions to eating disorders. The findings suggest that CSA may predispose individuals to behavioral control problems in multiple ways, which may manifest differentially in symptoms of eating disorders.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Emily R. Dworkin
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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