The relationship between adverse childhood experiences and mental health in adulthood. A systematic literature review

Tijdschrift voor psychiatrie 04/2013; 55(4):259-68.
Source: PubMed


Traumatic childhood experiences are important societal problems and have far-reaching mental and somatic consequences. There is a considerable amount of literature concerning the relationship between adverse childhood experiences ( ace s) and anxiety, depression and substance abuse in adulthood.
To integrate systematically all available research data on this relationship.
We studied the literature via PubMed and Psyc info using the search terms ‘ ace s’, ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’, ‘substance abuse’, and ‘impact’.
65 publications were included in our study. Child abuse, substance abuse and parents’ divorce were found to be very frequent risk factors. On average, the occurrence of emotional, sexual and physical child abuse was the most important risk factor for the development of depression. The greatest risk factors for anxiety disorders were sexual child abuse and family violence. Strong correlations were also found between family violence or physical neglect and substance abuse.
Strong correlations were shown to exist between various ace s and later symptoms or diagnoses of depressive and anxiety disorders in persons abusing drugs or alcohol. It seems to be mainly child abuse and family violence which have a major impact on the future mental health of victims.

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Available from: Maud De Venter, Oct 03, 2014
    • "However, members of the poly-adversity class displayed the greatest risk of suffering from an anxiety disorder and also had an elevated risk of a developing a DSM mood disorder, substance disorder or suicidal ideation and behaviour. This is consistent with previous studies that reported that child abuse and family violence had the greatest impact on mental health (DeVenter et al., 2013). Cross national variations have been found in other WMH surveys examining the impact of CAs on psychological wellbeing. "
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood adversities are key aetiological factors in the onset and persistence of psychopathology. The aims of this study were to identify childhood adversity profiles, and investigate the relationship between the adversity classes and psychopathology in Northern Ireland. The study utilized data from the Northern Ireland Study of Health and Stress, an epidemiological survey (N=1986), which used the CIDI to examine mental health disorders and associated risk factors. Latent Class Analysis revealed 3 distinct typologies; a low risk class (n=1709; 86%), a poly-adversity class (n=122; 6.1%), and an economic adversity class (n=155; 7.8%). Logistic Regression models revealed that individuals in the economic adversity class had a heightened risk of anxiety and substance disorders, with individuals in the poly-adversity class more likely to have a range of mental health problems and suicidality. The findings indicate the importance of considering the impact of co-occurring childhood adversities when planning treatment, prevention, and intervention programmes.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of anxiety disorders
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    • "ACEs have also been linked to increased risk of depression onset [36] [37] [38]. These studies link physical abuse, witnessing domestic violence, and parental alcohol and drug abuse to a vulnerability for depression symptom onset [36] [37]. In addition, residing in an urban, socioeconomically disadvantaged area has also been linked to risk of depression onset as well as drug use [39]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Native Americans disproportionately experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as well as health disparities, including high rates of posttraumatic stress, depression, and substance abuse. Many ACEs have been linked to methylation changes in genes that regulate the stress response, suggesting that these molecular changes may underlie the risk for psychiatric disorders related to ACEs. Methods. We reviewed published studies to provide evidence that ACE-related methylation changes contribute to health disparities in Native Americans. This framework may be adapted to understand how ACEs may result in health disparities in other racial/ethnic groups. Findings. Here we provide evidence that links ACEs to methylation differences in genes that regulate the stress response. Psychiatric disorders are also associated with methylation differences in endocrine, immune, and neurotransmitter genes that serve to regulate the stress response and are linked to psychiatric symptoms and medical morbidity. We provide evidence linking ACEs to these epigenetic modifications, suggesting that ACEs contribute to the vulnerability for developing psychiatric disorders in Native Americans. Conclusion. Additional studies are needed to better understand how ACEs contribute to health and well-being. These studies may inform future interventions to address these serious risks and promote the health and well-being of Native Americans.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Legislation to safeguard children from maltreatment by carers or violence by others was advanced in England and Scotland around 2004-2005 and resulted in different policies and services. We examined whether subsequent trends in injury admissions to hospital related to maltreatment or violence varied between the two countries. We analysed rates of all unplanned injury admission to National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England and Scotland between 2005 and 2011 for children and adolescents aged less than 19 years. We compared incidence trends for maltreatment or violence-related (MVR) injury and adjusted rate differences between 2005 and 2011 using Poisson or negative binomial regression models to adjust for seasonal effects and secular trends in non-MVR injury. Infants, children 1-10 years and adolescents 11-18 years were analysed separately. In 2005, MVR rates were similar in England and Scotland for infants and 1-10-year-olds, but almost twice as high in Scotland for 11-18-year-olds. MVR rates for infants increased by similar amounts in both countries, in line with rising non-MVR rates in England but contrary to declines in Scotland. Among 1-10-year-olds, MVR rates increased in England and declined in Scotland, in line with increasing non-MVR rates in England and declining rates in Scotland. Among 11-18-year-olds, MVR rates declined more steeply in Scotland than in England along with declines in non-MVR trends. Diverging trends in England and Scotland may reflect true changes in the occurrence of MVR injury or differences in the way services recognise and respond to these children, record such injuries or a combination of these factors. Further linkage of data from surveys and services for child maltreatment and violence could help distinguish the impact of policies.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BMJ Open
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