Author(s): Arnow BA
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Abstract Childhood maltreatment strongly predicts poor psychiatric and physical health outcomes in adulthood. This overview of the literature shows that individuals who suffer abuse, neglect, or serious family dysfunction as children are more likely to be depressed, to experience other types of psychiatric illness, to have more physical symptoms (both medically explained and unexplained), and to engage in more health-risk behaviors than their nonabused counterparts. The more severe the abuse, the stronger the association with poor outcomes in adulthood. Childhood sexual abuse in particular has been repeatedly associated, in adulthood, with physical complaints such as chronic pain that are likewise associated with depression. Individuals with a history of childhood abuse, particularly sexual abuse, are more likely than individuals with no history of abuse to become high utilizers of medical care and emergency services. Childhood maltreatment is highly prevalent among both men and women, especially in specialty settings such as emergency psychiatric care.
This article was published in J Clin Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy