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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999 Dec;67(6):867-80.

Childhood victimization and drug abuse: a comparison of prospective and retrospective findings.

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  • 1School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany, State University of New York 12222, USA.


This study examined whether childhood victimization increases risk for drug abuse using prospective and retrospective victimization information. Substantiated cases of child abuse/neglect from 1967 to 1971 were matched on gender, age, race, and approximate social class with nonabused/nonneglected children and followed prospectively into young adulthood. Between 1989 and 1995, 1,196 participants (676 abused/neglected and 520 control) were administered a 2-hr interview, including measures of self-reported childhood victimization and drug use/abuse (the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule--Version III--Revised). Prospectively, abused/neglected individuals were not at increased risk for drug abuse. In contrast, retrospective self-reports of childhood victimization were associated with robust and significant increases in risk for drug abuse. The relationship between childhood victimization and subsequent drug problems is more complex than originally anticipated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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