Childhood trauma, family history, and their association with mood disorders in early adulthood
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of childhood trauma and types of trauma on mood disorders among young adults in a population-based sample. We further gathered data on family history of mood disorders to test the hypothesis that childhood trauma is a mediating factor for the association between family history of mood disorder and mood disorder in adulthood. METHOD: This is a cross-sectional study, including young adults with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and matched controls without any mood disorder. Childhood trauma was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). The Hicks and Tingley implementation was employed to assess whether trauma is a mediator of the effect of family history on diagnosis of any mood disorder. RESULTS: All types of trauma were associated with both major depression and bipolar disorder, with the exception of sexual abuse, which was only associated with bipolar disorder. Moreover, family history of psychiatric illness was also associated with mood disorder in adulthood and with childhood trauma. Using the presence of any mood disorder as the outcome, a third of the effect of having any family history of mood disorder was mediated via childhood trauma. CONCLUSION: This investigation provides further support, in a population-based sample of young adults, of the association between childhood trauma and mood disorders, with sexual abuse being specifically linked with bipolar disorder. The hypothesis that childhood trauma would function as a partial mediator of the association between family history of mood disorder and mood disorder in adulthood was also confirmed.
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