Childhood adversity and vulnerability to mood and disorders

Elizabeth A. Young, James L. Abelson, George C. Curtis, Randolph Nesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based upon epidemiological surveys, adverse childhood events are proposed to be risk factors for adult depressive and anxiety disorders. However, the extent to which these events are seen in clinical patient populations is less clear. We examined the prevalence of a number of proposed risk factors for depression in 650 patients with mood and anxiety disorders at the time of presentation for treatment in an outpatient subspecialty clinic. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse (childhood a. was found in approximately 35% of patients with major depression and panic disorder, was more common in women than men, and was associated with an earlier onset of symptoms. Childhood adversity was also strongly associated with marital discord/divorce, and psychopathology in a parent, suggesting family discord predisposes to childhood abuse. Furthermore, the association of childhood abuse with parental mental illness suggests that genetic and environmental factors are difficult to separate as etiological factors in vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mood Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Depression
Divorce
Panic Disorder
Sex Offenses
Depressive Disorder
Ambulatory Care Facilities
Psychopathology
Population
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Childhood adversity
  • Emotional abuse
  • Family discord
  • Mood and anxiety disorders
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Childhood adversity and vulnerability to mood and disorders. / Young, Elizabeth A.; Abelson, James L.; Curtis, George C.; Nesse, Randolph.

In: Depression and Anxiety, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997, p. 66-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Young, Elizabeth A. ; Abelson, James L. ; Curtis, George C. ; Nesse, Randolph. / Childhood adversity and vulnerability to mood and disorders. In: Depression and Anxiety. 1997 ; Vol. 5, No. 2. pp. 66-72.
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