Learning Objective 1: The first aim of this study was to explore the impact of specific forms of childhood trauma on different eating psychopathologies.
Learning Objective 2: We also investigated the potential role of the psychological symptoms of depression and obsessive-compulsion as mediating variables between these forms of childhood trauma and these eating psychopathologies in patients with eating disorders.
Background. The highest probability of poor treatment outcomes in patients with eating disorders has been observed in those who experienced childhood trauma. Therefore, researchers are now examining whether childhood trauma should be considered a risk factor for eating psychopathology, but the impact of childhood traumatic experiences and their mediating variables has not been investigated sufficiently with this clinical population.
Methods. Subjects were seventy-three Korean patients with eating disorders. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Eating Disorder Inventory-2, Beck Depression Inventory, and Maudsley Obsessional-Compulsive Inventory were used to assess self-reported childhood trauma in five domains (emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect), eating psychopathology, depression, and obsessive-compulsion. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were used to explore the impact of these childhood traumatic experiences on eating psychopathology, and mediation analyses were conducted according to Baron and Kenny's guidelines.
Results. Emotional abuse, physical neglect, and sexual abuse were found to be significant predictors of eating psychopathology. We also found that depression fully mediated the association between some forms of childhood trauma and some forms of eating psychopathology, while obsessive-compulsion did not mediate this association.
Conclusions. Future interventions for patients with eating disorders should focus on assessing the possibility of childhood trauma, especially in those patients with poor treatment outcomes.
Relevance to clinical practice. Understanding patients' trauma prior to beginning treatment could help nurses to implement appropriate interventions. Furthermore, early intervention for childhood trauma might contribute to preventing eating disorders in traumatized individuals.
See more of: Research Sessions – Oral Paper & Posters