Child abuse tied to later mental disorders

July 7, 2010 at 5:11 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, July 7 (UPI) -- Abuse or neglect in childhood is associated with mental disorders as young adults, researchers in New Zealand suggest.

Kate M. Scott and colleagues at University of Otago-Wellington, New Zealand, linked government child protection records with data from a nationally representative community survey of mental disorders among young adults ages 16-27.

The survey included 2,144 young adults, 221 of whom had a history of child maltreatment.

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, says the strongest associations were with post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

"This implies, first, that targeted mental health interventions with present or past clients of child welfare agencies are indicated in addition to the interventions currently provided to stop or reduce the maltreatment; and second, that concerted population-level strategies are required to address the needs of the many other children who also experience maltreatment," the study authors said in a statement.

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