Direct and indirect effects of childhood adversity on adult depression

Marianna Lanoue, David Graeber, Brisa Urquieta De Hernandez, Teddy D. Warner, Deborah L. Helitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to adverse events in childhood is a predictor of subsequent exposure to adverse events in adulthood, and both are predictors of depression in adults. The degree to which adult depression has a direct effect of childhood adversity versus an indirect effect mediated by adult adversity has not previously been reported. We report data collected from 210 adult participants regarding childhood and adult adversity and current symptoms of depression. Mediation of the relationship between childhood adversity and adult depression by adult adversity was statistically assessed to evaluate the relative direct and indirect effects of childhood adversity on current depression levels in adults. Both the direct effect of childhood adversity on adult depression and the indirect effect, mediated by adulthood events, were significant. Therefore, partial mediation of the relationship between childhood adversity and adult symptoms of depression by adult adverse events was found in the sample. Implications for treatment are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult adversity
  • Childhood adversity
  • Depression
  • Mediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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