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Addict Behav. 2004 Aug;29(6):1177-81.

Adverse childhood events, substance abuse, and measures of affiliation.

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  • 1Alcohol Research Group-Public Health Institute, 2000 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA.


Adverse childhood events may influence later behaviors, including adulthood substance use and social affiliation. Studies have noted high prevalence rates of adverse childhood experiences and adulthood substance abuse among homeless adults. Using an existing longitudinal, countywide probability sample of 397 homeless adults, we examine the relationships among adverse childhood events on adulthood substance use, and the relationship of these variables to affiliation. Almost 75% of the sample had experienced an adverse childhood event. Path analysis indicated adulthood substance abuse mediated the inverse relationship between adverse childhood events and two measures of adulthood affiliation. Thus, although there is a relationship between adverse childhood events and adulthood substance use, it is adulthood substance use that determines most aspects of affiliation.

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