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Journal article

Functional somatic syndromes and childhood physical abuse in women: data from a representative community-based sample

Authors:
FULLER-THOMSON Esme, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aggression Maltreatment and Trauma, 20(4), May 2011, pp.445-469.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Functional somatic syndromes have been defined as patterns of somatic symptoms “for which adequate examination does not reveal sufficiently explanatory structural or other specified pathology”. This study explored whether childhood physical abuse was associated with functional somatic syndromes in women while controlling for age, race, and four domains of potentially confounding factors: other childhood adversities; adult health behaviours; socioeconomic status and stressors; and mental health. Data was drawn from a regional sample 7,342 women from of the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey. Women reported whether they had been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). Findings revealed that 749 women reported physical abused during their childhood. Also, childhood physical abuse was significantly associated with CFS, FM, and MCS. The authors concluded that clinicians involved in the management of functional somatic syndromes should assess patients for a history of childhood abuse.

Journal article

Psychopathology of perpetrators of fabricated or induced illness in children: case series

Authors:
BASS Christopher, JONES David
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(2), August 2011, pp.113-118.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Munchausen's syndrome by proxy is a rare form of child abuse. However, little is known about the psychopathology of the perpetrators. This paper investigated the medical, psychiatric, social work and forensic records of mothers referred for detailed psychiatric assessment from 1996 to 2009. Participants included 28 individuals with a diagnosis of fabricated or induced illness were referred to the authors for detailed psychiatric assessment. Findings revealed that 57% had evidence of a current somatoform disorder, and factitious disorders were identified in 64%. There was evidence of pathological lying in 61%. A chronic somatoform disorder or factitious disorder was detected in almost two-thirds of the participants. Over half of the mothers exhibited pathological lying, in some dating from adolescence, and this often continued into adult life. The authors concluded that psychiatrists should always be aware of the potential impact of these illnesses on any dependent children.

Journal article

Abuse in childhood and mental disorder in adult life

Authors:
MARSHALL William, et al
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse Review, 17(2), March 2008, pp.133-138.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The aim of this study was to compare the intensity of abuse experienced during childhood by those suffering from mental health problems, those who were somatically ill (ie those suffering from dermatological illnesses) and healthy people. The results supported the hypothesis that the abuse of children results in a risk factor for occurrence of mental health problems in adult life.

Journal article

Cognitive distortions in child molesters: theoretical and research developments over the past two decades

Authors:
GANNON Theresa A., WARD Tony, COLLIE Rachel
Journal article citation:
Aggression and Violent Behavior, 12(4), July 2007, pp.402-416.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Cognitive distortions have become an important focus for professionals working with child molesters since the early 1980s. In this paper, the authors describe and discuss both the theoretical and methodological developments of child molester's cognitive distortions that have evolved over the past two decades.  The authors conclude that although theory and research development has been a little slow in this topic, several interesting theoretical and methodological developments have been made in recent years.

Journal article

Childhood abuse and recovery from major depression

Authors:
ZLOTNICK Caron, et al
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 19(12), December 1995, pp.1513-1516.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Thirty-eight female inpatients with major depression were assessed for childhood abuse. History of abuse was examined in relation to recovery from a major depressive episode over a 12-month follow-up period. Forty-six percent of the women had a history of childhood abuse. Women without a history of abuse were 3.7 times more likely to have recovered by 12 months.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Disentangling the mental health impact of childhood abuse and neglect

Authors:
CECIL Charlotte A.M., et al
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 63, 2016, p.106–119.
Publisher:
Elsevier

It is unclear whether maltreatment types exert common or specific effects on mental health. In the current study, the authors aimed to systematically characterise the unique, shared and cumulative effects of maltreatment types on psychiatric symptoms, using data drawn from a community sample of high-risk youth (n = 204, M = 18.85). Analyses controlled for a range of potentially confounding variables, including socio-demographic variables, neighbourhood deprivation and levels of community violence exposure. Outcome measures included multi-informant reports of internalising difficulties, as well as data on externalising problems and trauma-related symptoms. The authors found that (i) consistent with previous studies, maltreatment types were highly interrelated and frequently co-occurred; (ii) symptom severity linearly increased with the number of maltreatment types experienced (more so for self-report vs informant ratings); and (iii) while most forms of maltreatment were significantly associated with mental health outcomes when examined individually, few unique effects were observed when modelling maltreatment types simultaneously, pointing to an important role of shared variance in driving maltreatment effects on mental health. Emotional abuse emerged as the main independent predictor of psychiatric symptomatology – over and above other maltreatment types – and this effect was comparable for males and females (i.e. no significant interaction with sex). Findings contribute to a better understanding of heterogeneity in individual responses to maltreatment. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

The unique relation of childhood emotional maltreatment with mental health problems among detained male and female adolescents

Authors:
VAHL Pauline, et al
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 62, 2016, pp.142-150.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Mounting evidence indicates that emotional maltreatment is at least as harmful as physical and sexual abuse. Notwithstanding their high occurrence among detained adolescents, the link between emotional maltreatment and mental health problems in these youths is not well researched. This study, therefore, was designed to examine the unique link between emotional maltreatment and mental health problems, with particular attention to gender differences. Well validated self-report measures of maltreatment experiences (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) and mental health problems (Youth Self Report) were completed by 341 detained adolescents (156 boys, 185 girls) aged 12 to 18 years. As expected, girls reported higher levels of maltreatment experiences and internalizing and externalizing mental health problems than boys. Blockwise multiple linear regression analyses indicated that in both genders emotional abuse was uniquely and positively associated with internalizing and externalizing mental health problems, over and above the influence of other types of maltreatment. Furthermore, sexual abuse was uniquely related with internalizing problems in girls only, whereas only in boys this type of abuse was uniquely related with externalizing problems. Detained adolescents who have been the victim of emotional abuse in combination with another type of maltreatment may be the worst subgroup in terms of mental health problems. Therefore, emotional maltreatment experiences in adolescents who offend should receive more research and clinical attention. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

‘The darkest times of my life’: recollections of child abuse among forced migrants persecuted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity

Authors:
ALESSI Edward J., KAHN Sarilee, CHATTERJI Sangeeta
Journal article citation:
Child Abuse and Neglect, 51, 2015, pp.93-105.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Numerous studies demonstrate that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children and youth are likely to experience abuse by peers, parents, and other adults and that these experiences correlate with a host of mental health problems. However, there is little understanding of the experiences of LGBT children and youth living in countries where social and legal protections for sexual and gender minorities are limited or nonexistent. This qualitative study used thematic analysis to explore the child and adolescent abuse experiences and their impact on the pre-migration mental health of LGBT forced migrants. The study analysed 26 interviews with individuals who obtained refugee or asylum status in the United States or Canada on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Participants originated from countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Analysis revealed the following themes: abuse by parents and caregivers, abuse by peers and school personnel, having nowhere to turn, and dealing with psychological distress. Findings indicate that participants experienced severe verbal, physical, and sexual abuse throughout childhood and adolescence and that this abuse occurred at home, in school, and in the community. Furthermore, there were no resources or sources of protection available to them. Participants linked their abuse to subjective experiences of depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress, as well as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. The article concludes with implications for refugee adjudication practices, mental health care, and international policy. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Classes and consequences of multiple maltreatment: a person-centered analysis

Authors:
BERZENSKI Sara R., YATES Tuppett M.
Journal article citation:
Child Maltreatment, 16(4), November 2011, pp.250-261.
Publisher:
Sage

Most research on the consequences of childhood maltreatment reports differential outcomes of specific maltreatment subtypes such as physical abuse or emotional abuse. However, maltreatment experiences often occur in combination. This study investigated multiple maltreatment experiences in a sample of 2,637 undergraduate students in the US who reported on childhood maltreatment and current adjustment. Findings revealed that specific patterns of multiple maltreatment had different associations. Emotional abuse, alone or in combination with other maltreatment types, was especially noticeable for psychopathology, while a combination of physical and emotional abuse was most strongly associated with conduct-related problems such as substance use or risky sexual behaviour. These findings have both practical and empirical significance for understanding and classifying experiences of maltreatment. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Journal article

Childhood maltreatment and the structure of common psychiatric disorders

Authors:
KEYES Katherine M., et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 200(2), February 2012, pp.107-115.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Exposure to childhood maltreatment has been shown to increase risk for many psychiatric disorders. This non-specific pattern of risk may mean that childhood maltreatment increases vulnerability to numerous specific psychiatric disorders through diverse, specific mechanisms or that childhood maltreatment engenders a generalised liability to dimensions of psychopathology. The aim of this study was to estimate the associations of childhood maltreatment with underlying dimensions of internalising and externalising psychopathology and with specific disorders. Data were drawn from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative survey of 34,653 US adults. Analysis revealed that the association between childhood maltreatment and psychiatric disorders operates through latent liabilities to experience internalising and externalising psychopathology. Important gender differences emerged with physical abuse associated only with externalising liability in men, and only with internalising liability in women. Neglect was not significantly associated with latent liability levels. The findings indicate that the prevention of maltreatment may have a wide range of benefits in reducing the prevalence of many common mental disorders.

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