The relationship between childhood maltreatment and psychopathology in adults undergoing bariatric surgery



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Journal Article

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Publication Title

Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases





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Abuse, Bariatric surgery, Childhood, Maltreatment, Trauma


Background: A history of childhood maltreatment and psychopathology are common in adults with obesity. Objectives: To report childhood maltreatment and to evaluate associations between severity and type of childhood maltreatment and lifetime history of psychopathology among adults with severe obesity awaiting bariatric surgery. Setting: Four clinical centers of the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery Research Consortium. Methods: The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, which assesses presence/severity (i.e., none, mild, moderate, severe) of physical abuse, mental abuse, physical neglect, mental neglect, and sexual abuse, was completed by 302 female and 66 male bariatric surgery patients. Presurgery lifetime history of psychopathology and suicidal ideation/behavior were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and the Suicidal Behavioral Questionnaire-Revised, respectively. Presurgery lifetime history of antidepressant use was self-reported. Results: Two thirds (66.6%) of females and 47.0% of males reported at least 1 form of childhood trauma; 42.4% and 24.2%, respectively, at greater than or equal to moderate severity. Among women, presence/greater severity of childhood mental or physical abuse or neglect was associated with a higher risk of history of psychopathology (i.e., major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorder, alcohol use disorder, binge eating disorder), suicidal ideation/behavior and antidepressant use (P for all ?.02). These associations were independent of age, race, education, body mass index, and childhood sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse was independently associated with a history of suicidal ideation/behavior and antidepressant use only (P for both ?.05). Statistical power was limited to evaluate these associations among men. Conclusion: Among women with obesity, presence/severity of childhood trauma was positively associated with relatively common psychiatric disorders.

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Green Accepted