Brief Communication: Physical Abuse of Boys and Possible Associations with Poor Adult Outcomes

Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6021, USA.
Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 17.81). 10/2005; 143(8):581-6. DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-143-8-200510180-00008
Source: PubMed


Men's childhood physical abuse experiences are understudied.
To obtain descriptions about men's personal childhood physical abuse histories and estimate their association with adult outcomes.
Population-based telephone survey.
Urban areas with high frequency of domestic violence against girls and women.
298 men recruited through random-digit dialing.
6 Conflict Tactics Scale items and psychiatric, sexual, and legal history questions.
One hundred of 197 (51%) participants had a history of childhood physical abuse. Most (73%) participants were abused by a parent. Childhood physical abuse history was associated with depression symptoms (P = 0.003), post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (P < 0.001), number of lifetime sexual partners (P = 0.035), legal troubles (P = 0.002), and incarceration (P = 0.007) in unadjusted analyses and with depression symptoms (P = 0.015) and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (P = 0.003) in adjusted analyses.
There may have been inaccurate recall of past events. Lack of exposure time data disallowed direct comparison of abuse perpetration by mothers versus fathers. Other unmeasured variables related to childhood physical abuse might better explain poor adult outcomes.
The high frequency of childhood physical abuse histories in this population-based male sample, coupled with the high proportion of parent perpetrators and the association between childhood physical abuse and adult outcomes that are often associated with perpetration of violence, argues for more study of and clinical attentiveness to potential adult outcomes of men's own childhood physical abuse histories.

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    • "Similarly, 33% of Japanese female juvenile offenders (Ariga et al., 2008), 27% of Swiss male juvenile offenders (Urbaniok, Endrass, Noll, Vetter, & Rossegger, 2007), and 10% to 19% of detained youth in the United States (Abram et al., 2004; Cauffman, Feldman, Waterman, & Steiner, 1998; Ford, Hartman, et al., 2008; Steiner, garcia, & Matthews, 1997) meet criteria for PTSD, with similar prevalence among boys remanded to secure facilities compared to those in mental health treatment programs (Urbaniok et al., 2007). Exposure to complex trauma in childhood puts adolescents and young adults at risk for PTSD (Copeland, Keeler, Angold, & Costello, 2007; Holmes & Sammel, 2005; Kilpatrick et al., 2000; Kilpatrick et al., 2003), depression (Hazen, Connelly, Roesch, Hough, & Landsverk, 2009; Holmes & Sammel, 2005; Kilpatrick et al., 2000; Kilpatrick et al., 2003; Manly, Kim, Rogosch, & Cicchetti, 2001; McCloskey & Lichter, 2003), suicidality (Ford, Hartman, et al., 2008; Swahn & Bossarte, 2007; Waldrop et al., 2007), substance use disorders (Ford, Hartman, et al., 2008; Kilpatrick et al., 2000; Kilpatrick et al., 2003), and legal problems and incarceration (Holmes & Sammel, 2005). Polyvictimized youth are at risk for severe sequelae including psychological distress (Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Turner, 2007a, 2007b; Hazen et al., 2009; Turner et al., 2006), psychiatric disorders (Cuevas, Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Turner, 2009; Ford, Elhai, et al., 2010), preteen initiation of substance use (Hamburger, Leeb, & Swahn, 2008), and delinquency (Cuevas, Finkelhor, Turner, & Ormrod, 2007; Ford, Elhai, et al., 2010). "
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