Associations Between Childhood Trauma, Childhood Sexual Abuse, and Adult Psychological Symptomatology (Løken & Reigstad, 2012)
The study explores the association between potentially traumatic childhood events (PTEs), childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and adult psychological symptoms, measured by specific posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTS), general psychological distress (GPD), interpersonal problems (IP), and emotion regulation problems (ERP). Method. Self-report questionnaires were used to collect data about exposure to childhood PTE (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire – Short Form; CTQ-SF), current symptoms of PTS (Impact of Even Scale-Revised; IES-R), and GPD, IP, and ERP (Symptom Checklist-90-Revised; SCL-90-R). Respondents (N = 425; 214 males, and 211 females) were recruited from samples of at-risk individuals (foster children, patients in mental health and drug addiction treatment, and incarcerated men), mean age was 28 years (range 14-65). Results. ChildhoodPTE, and CSA in particular, was associated with elevated scores on PST, GPD, IP, and ERP (all p < .01, small to medium effect sizes). In the female subgroup childhood PTE was associated with elevated scores on all symptom variables (all p < .01, medium to large ES), while CSA had a significant impact on only PTS (p < .01, medium ES). Conversely, for the male subgroup childhood PTE was associated with elevated scores only on PTS (p < .01, medium ES), while CSA was associated with elevated scores on all symptom variables (all p < .01, small to medium ES). These results indicate that childhood PTE in general affects adult symptomatology. Furthermore, CSA has an additional impact on adult symptomatology, and this impact is more pronounced for male than for female victims.
Associations Between Childhood Trauma, Childhood Sexual Abuse, and Adult Psychological Symptomatology