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Exposure to Child Abuse and Risk for Mental Health Problems in Women

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Risk for adult mental health problems associated with child sexual, physical, or emotional abuse and multiple types of child abuse was examined. Logistic regression analyses were used to test study hypotheses in a population-based sample of women (N = 3,936). As expected, child sexual, physical, and emotional abuse were independently associated with increased risk for mental health problems. History of multiple types of child abuse was also associated with elevated risk for mental health problems. In particular, exposure to all three types of child abuse was linked to a 23-fold increase in risk for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Findings underscore relations between child emotional abuse and adult mental health problems and highlight the need for mental health services for survivors of multiple types of child abuse.
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Keywords: CHILD MALTREATMENT; EMOTIONAL ABUSE; PTSD; WOMEN'S MENTAL HEALTH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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