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Retrospectively self-reported age of childhood abuse onset in a United States nationally representative sample

Cammack, A. L.; & Hogue, C. J. (2017). Retrospectively self-reported age of childhood abuse onset in a United States nationally representative sample. Injury Epidemiology, 4(1). PMCID: PMC5346510

Cammack, A. L.; & Hogue, C. J. (2017). Retrospectively self-reported age of childhood abuse onset in a United States nationally representative sample. Injury Epidemiology, 4(1). PMCID: PMC5346510

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BACKGROUND: Child abuse is common and several studies have linked it to health outcomes throughout the lifecourse. Recent information about timing of abuse reported retrospectively is underrepresented in the literature, despite its importance to informing target populations for primary prevention of child abuse and studying effects of child abuse. This study uses data from Wave IV (2008-2009) of The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to Adult Health (N = 14,776) to describe distributions of retrospectively self-reported age of onset of childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse perpetrated by parents/adult caregivers and sexual abuse perpetrated by other individuals. Information on childhood abuse history was collected when participants were between 24 and 32 years old. FINDINGS: Parental/adult caregiver perpetrated abuse frequently started in early childhood, particularly sexual abuse. Non-parental/adult caregiver sexual abuse motivated by physical force also started early in boys (median age = 7.21 years (95% CI: 5.92, 9.05)). Earlier onset of some types of abuse was associated with male sex, not being raised by both biological parents, and low childhood household income. CONCLUSIONS: Future studies should further examine timing of childhood abuse onset and include diverse measures of abuse, including those derived from longitudinal studies and validated reports. If these results are replicated, they suggest that abuse, particularly sexual abuse perpetrated by parents/adult caregivers, often starts in early childhood, and preventive interventions should be designed to protect younger children.


Child abuse
Child maltreatment
Physical abuse
Sexual abuse
Sexual assault
Trauma


JOUR



Cammack, A. L.
Hogue, C. J.



2017


Injury Epidemiology

4

1



2017/03/07




2197-1714

10.1186/s40621-017-0103-1

PMC5346510


6884