Associations of childhood maltreatment with binge eating and binge drinking in emerging adult women

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Background: Binge drinking and binge eating are prevalent, frequently co-occurring, high-risk behaviors among emerging adult women, each with physical and psychological consequences. The mechanisms driving their co-occurrence are not well understood, though a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may increase the risk for both binge behaviors. Objective: To assess the association between ACE subtypes and individual and co-occurring binge drinking and eating in emerging adult women. Participants and Setting: A diverse sample of women participating in the population-based study EAT 2018: Eating and Activity over Time (N = 788; aged 18–30; 19% Asian, 22% Black, 19% Latino, and 36% White). Methods: Multinomial logistic regression estimated associations among ACE subtypes (i.e., sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, household dysfunction), and binge drinking, binge eating, and their co-occurrence. Results are reported as predicted probabilities (PP) of each outcome. Results: Over half of the sample (62%) reported at least one ACE. In models mutually adjusted for other ACEs, physical and emotional abuse showed the strongest associations with binge behaviors. Experiences of physical abuse had the strongest association with a ten-percentage point higher predicted probability of binge drinking (PP = 37%, 95% [CI 27–47%]) and seven-percentage point higher PP of co-occurring binge eating and drinking (PP = 12%, 95% CI [5–19%]). Emotional abuse had the strongest association with an 11-percentage point higher PP binge eating only (PP = 20%, 95% CI [11–29%]). Conclusions: This study found childhood physical and emotional abuse to be particularly relevant risk factors for binge drinking, binge eating, and their co-occurrence among emerging adult women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102217
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Binge Drinking
  • Binge Eating
  • Emerging Adults
  • Women

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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