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Women of Abuse and Eating Disorders

  • Date Submitted: 12/03/2010 05:53 PM
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Angelica Maleski

Dr. Ford

Psychology

22 November 2010

Child Abuse and Risk of Eating Disorders in Women

Eating disorders are psychological problems that have been plaguing millions of lives around the US and other parts of the world. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating are the most common types seen among patients. The concrete causes of these disorders are rather vague and vary between patients. Possible sources that prompt the disorders, however, range from low self-esteem, dieting, dissatisfaction, desire for perfection, and family influences such as criticism, and/or even abuse. The victims extend to all different ages and both genders. However, it is noted that risks are much higher among women.
      Due to the ambiguous causes of these eating disorders, the researchers of this study decided to conduct an experiment that narrowed down these possibilities and instead focused on one. The study conducted by Rayworth, Wise, and Harlow concentrates on the impact that childhood abuse has on eating disorders. They hypothesize that it serves as a possible risk factor for the development of either Anorexia, Bulemia, or Binge-eating. Because most of the other studies that have been done, that focus on childhood abuse and eating disorders, have been concentrated on the role of sexual abuse rather than physical abuse, the researchers chose to study the overall relationship between a broad range of childhood abuse and eating disorders in a population-based sample of women.   In addition to this, they examined whether the association endured in women without previous depression.
      The methods used in this study focus on the subjects and their history, and the different measures of eating disorders and childhood violence victimization. The subjects that were used for this case-control study were women between 36-44 years of age who were participating in the Harvard Study of Moods and Cycles (a study previously done to test the connection between major...

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