Author(s): Pietrek C, Elbert T, Weierstall R, Mller O, Rockstroh B
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Abstract Substantial evidence has documented that adverse childhood experiences exert deleterious effects on mental health. It is less clear to what extent specific maltreatment during specific developmental periods may vary between disorders rather than increasing vulnerability for any particular disorder. The present comparison of characteristics of childhood adversity (type and frequency of adversity, developmental period) between major depressive disorder (MDD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, and psychiatrically healthy subjects examined how effects of adverse childhood experiences vary between disorders. Patients generally reported more adverse events than healthy subjects. Irrespective of diagnosis, emotional maltreatment was substantial in all patients. BPD was characterized by marked increase of adversities across age relative to MDD and schizophrenia. Fifty-six percent of BPD, 40\% of MDD and 18\% of schizophrenia cases experienced a significant degree of early childhood adversity. Stress pattern (type and time) varied between diagnoses, but not for patients with significant early adversities. Regression analyses confirmed early experiences as a predictor of BPD, but not of MDD and schizophrenia. Prepubescent experiences predicted affective and traumatic symptoms in BPD, and moderated the association with symptoms in MDD. Results indicate a dose-effect with differential impact of adverse childhood experiences in BPD, MDD, and schizophrenia, while early maltreatment beyond a certain degree affects mental health independent of diagnosis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Psychiatry Res
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacogenomics & Pharmacoproteomics