Childhood Sexual Abuse and Psychiatric Disorder in Young Adulthood: II. Psychiatric Outcomes of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Christchurch Health and Developments Study, Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.26). 11/1996; 35(10):1365-74. DOI: 10.1097/00004583-199610000-00024
Source: PubMed


This is the second in a series of articles that describe the prevalence, correlates, and consequences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in a birth cohort of more than 1,000 New Zealand children studied to the age of 18 years. This article examines the associations between reports of CSA at age 18 and DSM-IV diagnostic classifications at age 18.
A birth cohort of New Zealand children was studied at annual intervals from birth to age 16 years. At age 18 years retrospective reports of CSA prior to age 16 and concurrently measured psychiatric symptoms were obtained.
Those reporting CSA had higher rates of major depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, substance use disorder, and suicidal behaviors than those not reporting CSA (p < .002). There were consistent relationships between the extent of CSA and risk of disorder, with those reporting CSA involving intercourse having the highest risk of disorder. These results persisted when findings were adjusted for prospectively measured childhood family and related factors. Similar but less marked relationships between CSA and nonconcurrently measured disorders were found.
The findings suggest that CSA, and particularly severe CSA, was associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorder in young adults even when due allowance was made for prospectively measured confounding factors.

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    • "A conceptual model of long-term correlates of sexual abuse suggests that tension-reducing behaviors, such as the increased use of alcohol, may be seen as an attempt to cope with traumatic experiences (Polusny & Follette, 1995). Sexual abuse, especially at an early age, is often a persistent experience rather than restricted to a single event, such as an accident, and may therefore be more prone to severe psychopathological and developmental consequences in later adulthood , including high levels of anxiety and emotional distress (De Bellis, 2002; Fergusson, Horwood, & Lynskey, 1996; Whiffen & Macintosh, 2005). This often includes the development of symptoms, such as autonomic hyperarousal, avoidant behaviors , and re-experiencing phenomena, which constitute the core diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to the DSM-IV (APA, 1994). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms of re-experience, avoidance, and hyperarousal in the relationship between different types of trauma and alcohol use disorders (AUD). We used data from 731 trauma-exposed individuals who participated in the first wave of the PsyCoLaus-study. Trauma characteristics were assessed relatively to the occurrence of lifetime PTSD symptoms and AUD. The results suggest that lifetime and childhood sexual abuse as well as overall childhood trauma were directly linked to AUD and PTSD symptoms, in particular to avoidance symptoms. From single symptom clusters PTSD avoidance was found to specifically mediate the trauma-AUD pathway. Both childhood and sexual trauma strongly contribute to the comorbidity of PTSD and AUD and avoidance-type symptoms appear to play a central role in maintaining this association. Hence, the alleviation of avoidance symptoms might be an important target for therapeutic intervention among victims of sexual abuse before specific addiction treatment is initiated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Child abuse & neglect 08/2015; 46:8-15. DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.03.006 · 2.34 Impact Factor
    • "On the other hand, history of abuse has been associated with substance use disorders. Other disorders associated with history of abuse are affective disorders, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorders , eating disorders, psychosis, conduct disorder and personality disorders (Fergusson et al., 1996; Putnam, 2003; Hussey et al., 2006; Tyrka et al., 2009; Carr et al., 2013; Cohen et al., 2014; Hecht et al., 2014). The relationship between addiction and history of emotional, physical and sexual abuse has been well known. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual, emotional or physical abuse history is a risk factor for mental disorders in addicted patients. However, the relationship between addiction and abuse lifespan is not well known. This study aims to compare clinical and psychopathological features of addicted patients according to the experience of abuse and to the number of different types of abuse suffered. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. 512 addicted patients seeking treatment were included, 45.9% reported abuse throughout life (38.9% emotional, 22.3% physical and 13.5% sexual abuse). It was found that female gender; depressive symptoms and borderline personality disorder were independently associated with history of any abuse throughout life. As well, it was found that 14% have been suffered from all three types of abuse (sexual, emotional and physical), 34.5% from two and 55.5% from one type. Female gender and borderline personality disorder were independently associated independently with a greater number of different types of abuse. Results suggest that history of abuse is frequent among substance-dependent patients and these experiences are more prevalent in women and are associated with more psychiatric comorbidity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    08/2015; 229(3):PSYD1500266. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.08.008
    • "CSA is predominantly more common among the female sex than their male counterparts and the perpetrators of this crime are usually men of an older age group (Lalor, 2004). There has been well-documented negative sequelae of CSA, which ranges from drug abuse, physical abuse, mental health problems, difficulties with sexual relationships and engaging in sexual risk behaviours (Browne and Finkelhor, 1986; Dinwiddie et al., 2000; Fergusson et al., 1996, 1997; Peltzer et al., 2013; Senn et al., 2008). A growing number of studies indicate that those who were sexually abused in childhood often engage in behaviours "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between child sexual abuse and sexual risk behaviours as well as its potential mediators. Design/methodology/approach – This cross-sectional study used data from a cross-sectional study from 12,800 women between 15 and 49 years of age included in the 2008 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was applied to assess the association between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and sexual risk behaviours. Findings – The authors found that CSA was directly associated with sexual risk behaviours. In addition, the association between CSA and sexual risk behaviour was also partially mediated by alcohol and cigarette use. Research limitations/implications – The results show that being abused in childhood is important for the subsequent development of sexual risk behaviours in adulthood and the association is mediated by alcohol and cigarette use. Practical implications – The results may be helpful for policy makers and health care planners in designing cultural sensitive public health intervention that will reduce the burden of CSA, its long-term effects (sexual risk behaviours) and intervening mediators that increase the risks. Social implications – These findings suggest that to reduce sexual risks, interventions to address sexual abuse needs to include other social problems (smoking, alcohol) that victims result to when faced with trauma. Originality/value – The current study is the only one so far in sub-Saharan Africa to have explored the relation between CSA and sexual risk behaviours using SEM.
    Journal of Aggression 04/2015; 7(2):67-75. DOI:10.1108/JACPR-04-2014-0121
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