Correlates of adverse childhood experiences in adults with severe mood disordersedit
Adverse childhood experiences have been found to be associated with poor physical and poor mental health, impaired functioning, and increased substance abuse in the general adult population. The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical correlates of these experiences among adults with severe mood disorders. Adverse childhood experiences (including physical abuse, sexual abuse, parental mental illness, loss of parent, parental separation or divorce, witnessing domestic violence, and placement in foster or kinship care) were assessed retrospectively in a sample of 254 adults with major mood disorders. The relationships between cumulative exposure to these experiences and psychiatric problems, health, substance use disorders, community functioning, trauma exposure in adulthood, and high-risk behaviors were examined. Increased exposure to childhood adverse experiences was related to high-risk behaviors, diagnosis of a substance use disorder, exposure to trauma in adulthood, psychiatric problems (younger age at first hospitalization, number of suicide attempts, and diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder), medical service utilization, and homelessness.The findings extend research in the general population by suggesting that adverse childhood experiences contribute to worse mental and physical health and functional outcomes among adults with severe mood disorders.