JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Childhood abuse and eating disorders in gay and bisexual men.

OBJECTIVE: This study examines the association between eating disorders and a history of childhood abuse in gay and bisexual men, and how substance abuse and depression might impact this relationship.

METHOD: 193 white, black, Latino gay, and bisexual men were sampled from community venues. DSM-IV diagnoses of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder were assessed using the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

RESULTS: Men with a history of childhood sexual abuse are significantly more likely to have subclinical bulimia or any current full-syndrome or subclinical eating disorder compared with men who do not have a history of childhood sexual abuse. A history of depression and/or substance use disorders did not mediate this relationship.

CONCLUSION: Researchers should study other potential explanations of the relationship between a history of childhood abuse and eating disorders in gay and bisexual men. Clinicians working with gay and bisexual men who have a history of childhood abuse should assess for disordered eating as a potential mechanism to cope with the emotional sequelae associated with abuse.

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