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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2001 Apr;29(2):153-64.

Relationship between specific adverse life events and psychiatric disorders.

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Columbia University, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, USA.


This study examines whether certain psychiatric disorders are associated more closely with adverse life events than other disorders are, and whether some adverse life events are associated with a specific group of disorders (e.g., depressive disorders), but not with other disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders). A probability sample of youth aged 9-17 at 4 sites is used (N = 1,285). Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions identify specific relationships between 25 adverse life events and 9 common child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, measured by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Dysthymia are significantly associated with many of the adverse life events examined, whereas Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Social Phobia are related to very few. This study suggests that certain psychiatric disorders may be more closely associated with adverse life events than other psychiatric disorders are, and that some adverse life events seem to be related to specific types of disorders.

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