Personne :
Sabourin, Stéphane

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Université Laval. École de psychologie
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  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Maladaptive eating behaviors and childhood trauma : a focus on food addiction
    (Cureus Inc., 2022-07-18) Legendre, Maxime; Sabourin, Stéphane; Bégin, Catherine
    Many studies have highlighted the clinical relevance of food addiction (FA) by showing its association with psychopathological severity and even more when co-occurring with binge eating disorder. It was suggested that the association between FA and greater psychopathological severity could be accounted for by a history of traumatic experiences. The present study examined the relationship between childhood trauma (including peer victimization, abuse, and neglect) and maladaptive eating behaviors (FA, binge eating, and grazing) and explored whether childhood trauma predicts FA when controlling for binge eating, grazing, and other confounding variables. One hundred fourteen adult women seeking psychological help for problems related to eating or weight completed questionnaires measuring FA, binge eating, grazing, depressive symptoms, peer victimization, and childhood abuse and neglect. FA showed significantly small to moderate positive correlations with all measures of childhood trauma, except for physical neglect. A hierarchical regression, including binge eating, grazing, depressive symptoms, age, and childhood trauma explained 55% of FA variance, with 7% of variance explained uniquely by childhood trauma. This study supports that FA is related to childhood trauma and provides a potential explanation for the association of FA with greater psychopathological severity. From a clinical perspective, FA provides an accurate and quick assessment of psychopathological severity and represents an essential complement to the evaluation of eating disorders related to overweight. Future studies should attempt to estimate the impact of childhood trauma on treatment outcomes.