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J Interpers Violence. 2011 Nov;26(16):3316-37. doi: 10.1177/0886260510393009. Epub 2011 Feb 28.

History of interpersonal violence, abuse, and nonvictimization trauma and severity of psychiatric symptoms among children in outpatient psychiatric treatment.

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University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


In a clinical sample of child psychiatry outpatients, chart review data were collected for 114 consecutive admissions over a 1-year period at a Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. Data included history of documented maltreatment, potentially traumatic domestic or community violence, neglect or emotional abuse, and noninterpersonal stressors as well as demographics, psychiatric diagnoses, and parent-rated child emotional and disruptive behavior problems. On a bivariate and multivariate basis, any past exposure to interpersonal violence-but not to noninterpersonal traumas-was related to more severe disruptive behavior problems, independent of the effects of demographics and psychiatric diagnoses. Noninterpersonal trauma and psychiatric diagnoses were associated with emotional problems; exposure to interpersonal violence appeared to partially account for this relationship despite not being independently associated with emotional problem severity. History of exposure to interpersonal violence warrants clinical and research attention as a severity marker and potential treatment focus in psychiatric outpatient services for children, particularly those with disruptive behavior problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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