Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Maltreatment in childhood substantially increases the risk of adult depression and anxiety in prospective cohort studies: systematic review, meta-analysis, and proportional attributable fractions

  • M. Li (a1), C. D'Arcy (a1) (a2) and X. Meng (a2) (a3) (a4)

Abstract

Background

Literature supports a strong relationship between childhood maltreatment and mental illness but most studies reviewed are cross-sectional and/or use recall to assess maltreatment and are thus prone to temporality and recall bias. Research on the potential prospective impact of maltreatment reduction on the incidence of psychiatric disorders is scarce.

Method

Electronic databases and grey literature from 1990 to 2014 were searched for English-language cohort studies with criteria for depression and/or anxiety and non-recall measurement of childhood maltreatment. Systematic review with meta-analysis synthesized the results. Study quality, heterogeneity, and publication bias were examined. Initial screening of titles and abstracts resulted in 199 papers being reviewed. Eight high-quality articles met eligibility criteria. Population attributable fractions (PAFs) estimated potential preventive impact.

Results

The pooled odds ratio (OR) between any type of maltreatment and depression was 2.03 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37–3.01] and 2.70 (95% CI 2.10–3.47) for anxiety. For specific types of maltreatment and depression or anxiety disorders, the ORs were: physical abuse (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.25–3.19), sexual abuse (OR 2.66, 95% CI 1.88–3.75), and neglect (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.35–2.23). PAFs suggest that over one-half of global depression and anxiety cases are potentially attributable to self-reported childhood maltreatment. A 10–25% reduction in maltreatment could potentially prevent 31.4–80.3 million depression and anxiety cases worldwide.

Conclusion

This review provides robust evidence of childhood maltreatment increasing the risk for depression and anxiety, and reinforces the need for effective programs and policies to reduce its occurrence.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Maltreatment in childhood substantially increases the risk of adult depression and anxiety in prospective cohort studies: systematic review, meta-analysis, and proportional attributable fractions
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Maltreatment in childhood substantially increases the risk of adult depression and anxiety in prospective cohort studies: systematic review, meta-analysis, and proportional attributable fractions
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Maltreatment in childhood substantially increases the risk of adult depression and anxiety in prospective cohort studies: systematic review, meta-analysis, and proportional attributable fractions
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: X. Meng, PhD, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, 6875 Boulevard LaSalle, Verdun H4H 1R3, Canada. (Email: xiangfei.meng@mcgill.ca)

References

Hide All
Afifi, TO, MacMillan, HL, Boyle, M, Tailliew, T, Cheung, K, Sareen, J (2014). Child abuse and mental disorders in Canada. Canadian Medical Association Journal 186, E324E332.
APA (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edn. American Psychiatric Association: Washington.
Barnes, DE, Yaffe, K (2011). The projected effect of risk factor reduction on Alzheimer's disease prevalence. Lancet Neurology 10, 819828.
Benichou, J (2001). A review of adjusted esimators of attributable risk. Statistical Methods in Medical Research 10, 195216.
Bolton, JM, Robinson, J (2010). Population-attributable fractions of Axis I and Axis II mental disorders for suicide attempts: findings from a representative sample of the adult, noninstitutionalized US population. American Journal of Public Health 100, 24732480.
Briere, JN, Elliott, DM (1994). Immediate and long-term impacts of child sexual abuse. Future of Children 4, 5469.
Brown, J, Cohen, P, Johnson, JG, Smailes, EM (1999). Childhood abuse and neglect: specificity of effects on adolescent and young adult depression and suicidality. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 38, 14901496.
Butchart, A, Harvey, AP, Furniss, T (2006). Preventing child maltreatment: a guide to taking action and generating evidence. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization and International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241594365_eng.pdf). Accessed 20 November 2012.
Chen, LP, Murad, MH, Paras, ML, Colbenson, KM, Sattler, AL, Goranson, EN, Elamin, MB, Seime, RJ, Shinozaki, G, Prokop, LJ, Zirakzadeh, A (2010). Sexual abuse and lifetime diagnosis of psychiatric disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 85, 618626.
Cicchetti, D, Toth, SL (2005). Child maltreatment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 1, 409438.
Colman, I, Kingsbury, M, Garad, Y, Zeng, Y, Naicker, K, Patten, S, Jones, PB, Wild, TC, Thompson, AH (2015). Consistency in adult reporting of adverse childhood experiences. Psychological Medicine. Published online: 29 October 2015. doi:10.1017/S0033291715002032.
Coughlin, SS (1990). Recall bias in epidemiologic studies. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 43, 8791.
Cutajar, MC, Mullen, PE, Ogloff, JRP, Thomas, SD (2010). Psychopathology in a large cohort of sexually abused children followed up to 43 years. Child Abuse and Neglect 34, 813822.
Cutuli, JJ, Ranby, KL, Cicchetti, D, Englund, MM, Egeland, B (2013). Contributions of maltreatment and serotonin transporter genotype to depression in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Journal of Affective Disorders 149, 3037.
Danese, A, Moffitt, TE, Harrington, HL, Milne, BJ, Polanczyk, G, Pariante, CM, Poulton, R, Caspi, A (2009). Adverse childhood experiences and adult risk factors for age-related disease: depression, inflammation, and clustering of metabolic risk markers. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 163, 11351143.
Egger, M, Davey, SG, Schneider, M, Minder, C (1997). Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. British Medical Journal 315, 629634.
Fergusson, DM, Horwood, LJ, Woodward, LJ (2000). The stability of child abuse reports: a longitudinal study of the reporting behavior of young adults. Psychological Medicine 30, 529544.
Hardt, J, Rutter, M (2004). Validity of adult retrospective reports of adverse childhood experiences: review of the evidence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 45, 260273.
Herringa, RJ, Birn, RM, Ruttle, PL, Burghy, CA, Stodola, DE, Davidson, RJ, Essex, MJ (2013). Childhood maltreatment is associated with altered fear circuitry and increased internalizing symptoms by late adolescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110, 1911919124.
Higgins, JP, Thompson, SG, Deeks, JJ, Altman, DG (2003). Measuring inconsistency in meta-analyses. British Medical Journal 327, 557560.
Maniglio, R (2009). The impact of child sexual abuse on health: a systematic review of reviews. Clinical Psychology Review 29, 647657.
Maniglio, R (2010). Child sexual abuse in the etiology of depression: a systematic review of reviews. Depression and Anxiety 27, 631642.
Maniglio, R (2012). Child sexual abuse in the etiology of anxiety disorders: a systematic review of reviews. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse 14, 96112.
Maughan, B, Pickles, A, Quinton, D (1995). Parental hostility, childhood behaviour, and adult social functioning. In Coercion and Punishment in Long Term Perspectives (ed. McCord, J.), pp. 3458. Cambridge University Press: New York.
Meng, X, D'Arcy, C (2013). The projected effect of increasing physical activity on reducing the prevalence of common mental disorders among Canadian men and women: a national population-based community study. Preventive Medicine 56, 5963.
Meng, X, D'Arcy, C (2014). The projected effect of risk factor reduction on major depression incidence: a 16-year longitudinal Canadian Cohort of the National Population Health Survey. Journal of Affective Disorders 158, 5661.
McCrory, E, De Brito, SA, Viding, E (2010). Research review: the neurobiology and genetics of maltreatment and adversity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 51, 10791095.
Moher, D, Liberati, A, Tetzlaff, J, Altman, D (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Medicine 6, e1000097.
Nanni, V, Uher, R, Danese, A (2012). Childhood maltreatment predicts unfavorable course of illness and treatment outcome in depression: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry 169, 141151.
Neumann, DA, Houskamp, BM, Pollock, VE (1996). The long-term sequelae of childhood sexual abuse in women: a meta-analytic review. Child Maltreatment 1, 616.
Norman, RE, Byambaa, M, De, R, Butchart, A, Scott, J, Vos, T (2012). The long-term health consequences of child physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine 9, e1001349.
Northridge, ME (1995). Annotation: public health methods-attributable risk as a link between causality and public health action. American Journal of Public Health 85, 12021203.
Paolucci, EO, Genuis, ML, Violato, C (2010). A meta-analysis of the published research on the effects of child sexual abuse. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied 135, 1736.
Robins, LN, Schoenberg, SP, Holmes, SJ, Ratcliff, KS, Benham, A, Works, J (1985). Early home environment and retrospective recall: a test of concordance between siblings with and without psychiatric disorders. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 55, 2741.
Rockhill, B, Newman, B, Weinberg, C (1998). Use and misuse of population attributable fractions. American Journal of Public Health 88, 1519.
Sareen, J, Belik, SL, Afifi, TO, Asmundson, GJ, Cox, BJ, Stein, MB (2008). Canadian military personnel's population attributable fractions of mental disorders and mental health service use associated with combat and peacekeeping operations. American Journal of Public Health 98, 21912198.
Scott, KM, McLaughlin, KA, Smith, DAR, Ellis, PM (2012). Childhood maltreatment and DSM-IV adult mental disorders: comparison of prospective and retrospective findings. British Journal of Psychiatry 200, 469475.
Spataro, J, Mullen, PE, Burgess, PM, Wells, DL, Moss, SA (2004). Impact of child sexual abuse on mental health. British Journal of Psychiatry 184, 416–412.
Stoltenborgh, M, Bakermans-Kranenburg, MJ, Alink, LRA, IJzendoorn, MH (2015). The prevalence of child maltreatment across the globe: review of a series of mega-analysis. Child Abuse Review 24, 3750.
Stoltenborgh, M, IJzendoorn, MH, Euser, EM, Bakermans-Kranenburg, MJ (2011). A global perspective on child sexual abuse: meta-analysis of prevalence around the world. Child Maltreatment 16, 79101.
Stroup, D, Berlin, J, Morton, S, Ingram, O, Williamson, G, Rennie, D, Moher, D, Becker, BJ, Sipe, TA, Thacker, SB, the Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) Group (2000). Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: a proposal for reporting. Journal of the American Medical Association 283, 20082012.
Taylor, SE, Brown, JD (1988). Illusion and wellbeing: a social psychological perspective on mental health. Psychological Bulletin 103, 193210.
Toth, SL, Manly, JT, Cicchetti, D (1992). Child maltreatment and vulnerability to depression. Development and Psychopathology 4, 97112.
Vos, T, Flaxman, AD, Naghavi, M, Lozano, R, Michaud, C, Ezzati, M, Shibuya, K, Salomon, JA, Abdalla, S, Aboyans, V, Abraham, J, Ackerman, I, Aggarwal, R, Ahn, SY, Ali, MK, Alvarado, M, Anderson, HR, Anderson, LM, Andrews, KG, Atkinson, C, Baddour, LM, Bahalim, AN, Barker-Collo, S, Barrero, LH, Bartels, DH, Basáñez, MG, Baxter, A, Bell, ML, Benjamin, EJ, Bennett, D, Bernabé, E, Bhalla, K, Bhandari, B, Bikbov, B, Bin Abdulhak, A, Birbeck, G, Black, JA, Blencowe, H, Blore, JD, Blyth, F, Bolliger, I, Bonaventure, A, Boufous, S, Bourne, R, Boussinesq, M, Braithwaite, T, Brayne, C, Bridgett, L, Brooker, S, Brooks, P, Brugha, TS, Bryan-Hancock, C, Bucello, C, Buchbinder, R, Buckle, G, Budke, CM, Burch, M, Burney, P, Burstein, R, Calabria, B, Campbell, B, Canter, CE, Carabin, H, Carapetis, J, Carmona, L, Cella, C, Charlson, F, Chen, H, Cheng, AT, Chou, D, Chugh, SS, Coffeng, LE, Colan, SD, Colquhoun, S, Colson, KE, Condon, J, Connor, MD, Cooper, LT, Corriere, M, Cortinovis, M, de Vaccaro, KC, Couser, W, Cowie, BC, Criqui, MH, Cross, M, Dabhadkar, KC, Dahiya, M, Dahodwala, N, Damsere-Derry, J, Danaei, G, Davis, A, De Leo, D, Degenhardt, L, Dellavalle, R, Delossantos, A, Denenberg, J, Derrett, S, Des Jarlais, DC, Dharmaratne, SD, Dherani, M, Diaz-Torne, C, Dolk, H, Dorsey, ER, Driscoll, T, Duber, H, Ebel, B, Edmond, K, Elbaz, A, Ali, SE, Erskine, H, Erwin, PJ, Espindola, P, Ewoigbokhan, SE, Farzadfar, F, Feigin, V, Felson, DT, Ferrari, A, Ferri, CP, Fèvre, EM, Finucane, MM, Flaxman, S, Flood, L, Foreman, K, Forouzanfar, MH, Fowkes, FG, Franklin, R, Fransen, M, Freeman, MK, Gabbe, BJ, Gabriel, SE, Gakidou, E, Ganatra, HA, Garcia, B, Gaspari, F, Gillum, RF, Gmel, G, Gosselin, R, Grainger, R, Groeger, J, Guillemin, F, Gunnell, D, Gupta, R, Haagsma, J, Hagan, H, Halasa, YA, Hall, W, Haring, D, Haro, JM, Harrison, JE, Havmoeller, R, Hay, RJ, Higashi, H, Hill, C, Hoen, B, Hoffman, H, Hotez, PJ, Hoy, D, Huang, JJ, Ibeanusi, SE, Jacobsen, KH, James, SL, Jarvis, D, Jasrasaria, R, Jayaraman, S, Johns, N, Jonas, JB, Karthikeyan, G, Kassebaum, N, Kawakami, N, Keren, A, Khoo, JP, King, CH, Knowlton, LM, Kobusingye, O, Koranteng, A, Krishnamurthi, R, Lalloo, R, Laslett, LL, Lathlean, T, Leasher, JL, Lee, YY, Leigh, J, Lim, SS, Limb, E, Lin, JK, Lipnick, M, Lipshultz, SE, Liu, W, Loane, M, Ohno, SL, Lyons, R, Ma, J, Mabweijano, J, MacIntyre, MF, Malekzadeh, R, Mallinger, L, Manivannan, S, Marcenes, W, March, L, Margolis, DJ, Marks, GB, Marks, R, Matsumori, A, Matzopoulos, R, Mayosi, BM, McAnulty, JH, McDermott, MM, McGill, N, McGrath, J, Medina-Mora, ME, Meltzer, M, Mensah, GA, Merriman, TR, Meyer, AC, Miglioli, V, Miller, M, Miller, TR, Mitchell, PB, Mocumbi, AO, Moffitt, TE, Mokdad, AA, Monasta, L, Montico, M, Moradi-Lakeh, M, Moran, A, Morawska, L, Mori, R, Murdoch, ME, Mwaniki, MK, Naidoo, K, Nair, MN, Naldi, L, Narayan, KM, Nelson, PK, Nelson, RG, Nevitt, MC, Newton, CR, Nolte, S, Norman, P, Norman, R, O'Donnell, M, O'Hanlon, S, Olives, C, Omer, SB, Ortblad, K, Osborne, R, Ozgediz, D, Page, A, Pahari, B, Pandian, JD, Rivero, AP, Patten, SB, Pearce, N, Padilla, RP, Perez-Ruiz, F, Perico, N, Pesudovs, K, Phillips, D, Phillips, MR, Pierce, K, Pion, S, Polanczyk, GV, Polinder, S, Pope, CA III, Popova, S, Porrini, E, Pourmalek, F, Prince, M, Pullan, RL, Ramaiah, KD, Ranganathan, D, Razavi, H, Regan, M, Rehm, JT, Rein, DB, Remuzzi, G, Richardson, K, Rivara, FP, Roberts, T, Robinson, C, De Leòn, FR, Ronfani, L, Room, R, Rosenfeld, LC, Rushton, L, Sacco, RL, Saha, S, Sampson, U, Sanchez-Riera, L, Sanman, E, Schwebel, DC, Scott, JG, Segui-Gomez, M, Shahraz, S, Shepard, DS, Shin, H, Shivakoti, R, Singh, D, Singh, GM, Singh, JA, Singleton, J, Sleet, DA, Sliwa, K, Smith, E, Smith, JL, Stapelberg, NJ, Steer, A, Steiner, T, Stolk, WA, Stovner, LJ, Sudfeld, C, Syed, S, Tamburlini, G, Tavakkoli, M, Taylor, HR, Taylor, JA, Taylor, WJ, Thomas, B, Thomson, WM, Thurston, GD, Tleyjeh, IM, Tonelli, M, Towbin, JA, Truelsen, T, Tsilimbaris, MK, Ubeda, C, Undurraga, EA, van der Werf, MJ, van Os, J, Vavilala, MS, Venketasubramanian, N, Wang, M, Wang, W, Watt, K, Weatherall, DJ, Weinstock, MA, Weintraub, R, Weisskopf, MG, Weissman, MM, White, RA, Whiteford, H, Wiersma, ST, Wilkinson, JD, Williams, HC, Williams, SR, Witt, E, Wolfe, F, Woolf, AD, Wulf, S, Yeh, PH, Zaidi, AK, Zheng, ZJ, Zonies, D, Lopez, AD, Murray, CJ, AlMazroa, MA, Memish, ZA (2012). Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380, 21632196.
Wells, G, Shea, B, O'Connell, D, Petersen, J, Welch, V, Losos, M, Tugwell, P (2012). The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of nonrandomized studies in meta-analyses. Ottawa Hospital Research Institute: Ottawa (http://www.ohri.ca/programs/clinical_epidemiology/oxford.asp). Accessed 12 February 2015.
Whiteford, HA, Degenhardt, L, Rehm, J, Baxter, AJ, Ferrari, AJ, Erskine, HE, Charlson, FJ, Norman, RE, Flaxman, AD, Johns, N, Burstein, R, Murray, CJL, Vos, T (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 382, 15751586.
Widom, CS (1999). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in abused and neglected children grown up. American Journal of Psychiatry 156, 12231229.
Widom, CS, DuMont, K, Czaja, SJ (2007). A prospective investigation of major depressive disorder and comorbidity in abused and neglected children grown up. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 4956.
WHO (1992). The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. World Health Organization: Geneva.
WHO (2012). Depression: Fact Sheet (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/). World Health Organization. Accessed 10 February 2015.
WHO (2014). Media Centre: Child Maltreatment. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs150/en/index.html). World Health Organization. Accessed 12 March 2015.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Li supplementary material
Supplementary Appendices 1-3

 Word (29 KB)
29 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed