Are child maltreatment and intimate partner violence associated with adult disordered eating?


Lebed, Olga; Sabina, Chiara; Pacanowski, Carly R.; & Jaremka, Lisa M. (2023). Are child maltreatment and intimate partner violence associated with adult disordered eating?. The International Journal of Eating Disorders.


Disordered eating is one of the most prevalent mental health concerns (Galmiche et al., 2019, Quick & Byrd-Bredbenner, 2013, Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2006). Studies show that child maltreatment increases the likelihood of disordered eating symptoms in adulthood (Caslini et al., 2016, Hazzard et al., 2019). However, these studies overlook abuse experiences later in life, such as intimate partner violence which may also be a significant contributing factor (Bundock et al., 2013). The proposed study will help identify whether childhood maltreatment and IPV are independent predictors and/or if the combination of the two are synergistic risk factors for adult disordered eating.
We use data from 14,332 people from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Participants completed questionnaires assessing child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and disordered eating symptoms. We will perform a series of logistic regression models to examine a) whether child maltreatment and intimate partner violence are independently associated with disordered eating and b) whether exposure to the combination of both child maltreatment and intimate partner violence is associated with worse outcomes for adult disordered eating compared to exposure to only one or none at all. We also propose a supplemental analysis to establish the robustness of these effects when accounting for the highest parental education, federal poverty percentage level, race/ethnicity, gender, and age.
Public significance
Disordered eating is a serious mental health concern, especially in an emerging adult population. Child maltreatment is consistently associated with disordered eating in adulthood. However, the independent or synergistic role of more recent abuse experiences, such as intimate partner violence, remains largely unknown. The proposed study provides insight into how both childhood abuse and intimate partner violence may be associated with disordered eating independently or in combination.



Childhood abuse Disordered eating Domestic violence Eating disorders Intimate partner violence

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

The International Journal of Eating Disorders


Lebed, Olga
Sabina, Chiara
Pacanowski, Carly R.
Jaremka, Lisa M.

Year Published




Reference ID