Relationship of childhood sexual and physical abuse to anxiety disorders

C Mancini, M Van Ameringen, H MacMillan
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 1995, 183 (5): 309-14
This study reports on the relationship of childhood sexual and physical abuse in adult outpatients of an anxiety disorders clinic. A total of 205 consecutive patients admitted to two anxiety disorders clinics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, were given the Child Maltreatment History-Self-Report to elicit a history of childhood sexual or physical abuse. Childhood sexual abuse was reported by 23.4% and childhood physical abuse by 44.9%. Patients with a history of childhood sexual or physical abuse had significantly higher Beck depression scores and concurrent major depression, as well as more significant impairment in social functioning. They also demonstrated significantly higher state and trait anxiety scores. The occurrence of sexual or physical abuse was not associated with the presence of any particular primary anxiety disorder diagnosis. However, childhood sexual and/or physical abuse may affect the severity of the anxiety disorder as well as the presence of concurrent major depression.


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