Childhood emotional neglect related to posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and body mass index in adult women

Cathy L Pederson, Josephine F Wilson
Psychological Reports 2009, 105 (1): 111-26
The relationships among the severity of childhood abuse and neglect, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and adult obesity were investigated. 207 women (M age = 26.5 yr., SD = 6.7) completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Millon Clinician Multiaxial Inventory, and a demographic questionnaire. Analyses of variance indicated that women who reported moderate-to-extreme emotional neglect (n = 71) had significantly higher PTSD scores and increased BMI compared to women who reported low emotional neglect (n = 84). Women who reported severe sexual or emotional abuse also had higher PTSD scores, but no relationship was found with BMI when other factors were controlled. Although PTSD scores and self-reported severity of childhood emotional neglect were strongly correlated (r = .61, p < .001), PTSD was not found to be a mediating factor in obesity in women who reported childhood emotional neglect, although depression was.

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