A 2014 study highlights the link between eating disorders and repeated interpersonal trauma.

In a November 2014 study published in the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy (2014), discovered that particular types of trauma, specifically higher trauma frequency and interpersonal trauma, are associated with eating disorders.

The study took into account the full spectrum of traumatic events. The participants included 50 females ages 14-30 that met the ICD-10 criteria for eating disorders diagnosis as well as a nonclinical group of 245 females ages 15-19, and a subgroup of older women. The study looked at three central areas of trauma; non-interpersonal (car accidents, natural disasters, etc.), interpersonal (interpersonal violence, rape, physical assault, robbery, intimidation, and emotional neglect, etc.), and adverse childhood circumstances (low socioeconomic status (SES), maltreatment, and social isolation, etc).

The results indicated that the clinical group report higher frequency of trauma than the nonclinical and that the traumatic events were of a more interpersonal nature. Women in the nonclinical group reported more non-interpersonal traumatic experience. These findings point toward trauma involving relationship as a major player on the development of eating disorders in young women.

To read the study abstract and access the full text article see: www.psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2013-45139-001/.