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J Subst Abuse Treat. 1994 Jul-Aug;11(4):347-58.

Screening for childhood physical and sexual abuse among outpatient substance abusers.

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Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87131.


Research demonstrates that substance-abusing individuals report substantially higher rates of childhood sexual and physical abuse than the general population. This study sought to test a method of identifying substance-abusing clients with histories of childhood sexual and/or physical abuse and to explore the differences between those reporting childhood abuse and those not. Files of substance abusing clients from two distinct time periods were examined for reports of childhood abuse. At Time 1 (n = 399) clients were not systematically asked about experiences of childhood abuse, and at Time 2 (n = 305) clients were routinely asked about this issue. Results indicate that significantly more male and female clients disclosed childhood abuse at Time 2. Additionally, male clients reporting childhood abuse appeared more distressed than those not reporting abuse; female clients reporting childhood abuse did not appear more distressed than their counterparts.

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