Child Maltreatment and Disordered Eating in Adulthood: a Mediating Role of PTSD and Self-Esteem?

Nele Marie Wolf, Ask Elklit

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The current study investigated relationships between different experiences of child maltreatment (CM) and disordered eating (DE) in a large population-based sample of Danish young adults. Participants completed a structured interview comprising socio-demographic, psychological and physical domains. Questions regarding CM, DE, PTSD symptoms and self-esteem were analyzed using chi-square-tests, ANOVAs, hierarchical regression, and multiple mediation analyses. Participants with a history of CM experienced higher levels of DE than non-abused individuals. PTSD symptoms and self-esteem appeared to differentially mediate the relationship between three classes of CM and DE. Whereas the relation between emotional and sexual abuse with DE was partially mediated via participants’ level of PTSD symptoms and self-esteem with emotional abuse having a stronger impact on self-esteem and sexual abuse more strongly influencing PTSD symptoms, the relation between polyvictimization and DE was fully mediated by PTSD and self-esteem, mainly due to the indirect effect via PTSD.
TidsskriftJournal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
Sider (fra-til)21–32
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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