A latent profile analysis of childhood trauma in women with bulimia nervosa: Associations with borderline personality disorder psychopathology

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The aim of this study was to empirically examine naturally occurring groups of individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) based on their childhood trauma (CT) histories and to compare these groups on a clinically relevant external validator, borderline personality disorder (BPD) psychopathology.


This study examined the relationship between CT and BPD psychopathology among 133 women with BN using latent profile analysis (LPA) to classify participants based on histories of CT. Participants completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I/P), the Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines-Revised (DIB-R), and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ).


The LPA revealed four trauma profiles: low/no trauma, emotional trauma, sexual trauma, and polytrauma. Results indicated that the sexual and polytrauma profiles displayed significantly elevated scores on the DIB-R and that the low/no and emotional trauma profiles did not differ significantly on the DIB-R. Secondary analyses revealed elevated levels of a composite CT score among those with both BN and BPD psychopathology compared to those with BN only.


These findings suggest that both childhood sexual abuse and the additive effects of childhood polytrauma may be linked to BPD psychopathology in BN. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2016; 49:689–694)

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