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Adverse Childhood Experiences, Depression and Mental Health Barriers to Work among Low-Income Women

Recent research has connected childhood abuse to decreased physical and mental health for low-income women in Utah. Further, mental health has established a link to employment problems. This study conducted a secondary analysis of data collected from individuals accessing public assistance to investigate the relationships among retrospective self-reports of childhood emotional, physical and sexual abuse and prospective indicators of mental health and mental health barriers to work.

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Mediating links between maternal childhood trauma and pre-adolescent behavioral adjustment

Structural equation modeling was used to simultaneously examine maternal psychological distress and social support as mediators linking maternal childhood trauma (MCT) to both maternal and child-reported behavior at 9 years of age in 231 birth mother-child dyads, who were primarily poor, urban, and African American. One half of the mothers (n = 116) reported a history of childhood abuse and neglect. Although MCT was associated with both increased maternal psychological distress and limited social support at 6 years, the pathway to child behavior ratings at 9 years was informant dependent. MCT influenced maternal ratings of her child’s behavior, with some effects mediated through psychological distress.

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Childhood abuse and loss in the lives of low-income women

About 700,000 cases of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect are substantiated each year, making childhood maltreatment a common form of trauma in the histories of adults. We summarize the literature on the consequences of child maltreatment across the lifespan, agreeing with researchers who see maltreatment as a public health problem.

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Last Updated: 9/9/19