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J Affect Disord. 2010 Dec;127(1-3):130-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.04.031. Epub 2010 May 31.

Childhood adversities, adulthood life events and depression.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Satakunta Hospital District, Finland.



The role of childhood adversities in predicting adulthood depression has been suggested to be complex and in need of additional comprehensive studies.


This investigation set out to examine whether increased exposure to life events (LEs) in adulthood mediates the association between childhood adversities and adulthood depression.


This study is based on a random health survey sample from the Finnish working-aged population (n=16,877) with a follow-up of up to 7 years. Depression was identified by Beck Depression Inventory, records of antidepressant prescriptions and hospitalization due to depression obtained from national health registers.


Childhood adversities were associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing a high number of LEs in adulthood and their perceived burdensomeness. The mean number of new LEs correlated significantly (P<0.001) in a dose-response relationship with the number of childhood adversities. Reporting childhood adversities was associated with a 1.28-2.70-fold increase in the odds of depression as indicated by BDI score, a 1.29-1.94-fold increase in the rate of antidepressant prescriptions and a 1.17-4.04-fold increase in the risk of hospitalization due to depression. Adjustment for new LE attenuated these associations by 21-24%, but did not render them insignificant.


Increased exposure to adult negative life events proximal to adult depression may partially explain the association between childhood adversities and adult depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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