Kate M. Scott, Ph.D., M.A. Appl.(Clin Psych), and colleagues at University of Otago-Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, linked national child protection agency records with data from a nationally representative community survey of mental disorders among young adults age 16 to 27. The survey included 2,144 young adults, 221 of whom had a history of child maltreatment as indicated by child protection agency records.
After adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors, a history of abuse or neglect was associated with having any mental disorder and with five individual mental disorders—including anxiety, mood and substance abuse conditions—both over a lifetime and in the previous year. The strongest associations were with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Abused children appear likely to have mental disorders as young adults