Childhood mistreatment and adolescent and young adult depression
In this paper, I use a nationally representative sample of adolescents from the United States to examine the association between childhood mistreatment (sexual abuse and physical abuse) and depression during adolescence and young adulthood. Researchers have implicated childhood mistreatment as one of the most important predictors of depression. An alternative mechanism linking childhood mistreatment with adolescent and young adult depression is community and family disadvantage (or other factors) that affect both outcomes. Using data from the restricted version of the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this paper outlines several findings of the relationship between mistreatment and depression as well as the gender differences in depression. First, I find very limited evidence that controlling for common environmental factors at the school or neighborhood level explain the relationship between mistreatment and depression. Also, I show that controlling for common family factors decreases the predictive power of childhood mistreatment on depression. Results in this paper generally support previous research that shows the link between childhood mistreatment and depression is most important for females, even within families. Finally, results suggest that the effects of child mistreatment on depression may increase as individuals age.
Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (March)
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