Bulimia with and without a family history of drug abuse

James E. Mitchell, Dorothy K Hatsukami, Richard Pyle, Elke D Eckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Patients evaluated in an eating disorders clinic and found to meet DSM-III criteria for bulimia were classified as to the presence or absence of a family history of drug abuse in at least one first-degree relative. Patients with a positive family history of drug abuse (N=102, 37.1%) did not differ significantly from patients without this history (N=173, 62.9%) on the variables of age at evaluation and age of onset of eating disorder, or as to their pattern or severity of bulimic behaviors, including binge-eating, self-induced vomiting, and laxative abuse. However, the patients with a family history of drug abuse were more likely to have experienced drug abuse problems themselves, to have been treated for chemical dependency prior to being evaluated for their eating disorder and to have a history of having been overweight. Those in the positive family history group also reported more family disruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


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