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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1999 Aug;25(3):449-62.

Prevalence of childhood trauma in a community sample of substance-abusing women.

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Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA.


The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of positive trauma histories in a community sample of intravenous drug using (IVDU) women for five subsets of childhood trauma (emotional abuse or neglect, physical abuse or neglect, and sexual abuse) and to compare demographic variables between the abused versus nonabused groups. Of the 181 women who completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), 109 (60.2%) were sexually abused, 100 (55.2%) were physically abused, 83 (45.9%) were emotionally abused, 151 (83.4%) were emotionally neglected, and 108 (59.7%) were physically neglected. There were no statistically significant findings for age, ethnicity, and educational level. Those subjects that were physically neglected were more likely not to be in a current relationship compared to those subjects that were not abused (p = .036). The findings suggest that the prevalence of all five childhood traumas was higher than what has been reported in the general population, and that physical neglect of individuals may predict lack of current significant relationships.

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