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Evaluation of sex differences in health-related quality of life outcomes associated with child abuse: Results from the Ontario Child Health Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2014

M. Tanaka
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
T. O. Afifi
Affiliation:
Departments of Community Health Sciences and Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada
C. N. Wathen
Affiliation:
Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada
M. H. Boyle
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
H. L. MacMillan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Aims.

Despite the advances in child maltreatment research, there is still the need for comprehensive information about how abuse affects a broad range of categories of young adult functioning, and the extent to which these vary by sex. We examined the associations between child physical abuse (PA) and sexual abuse (SA) and six areas of functioning (mental health, physical health, life satisfaction, illegal substance use, alcohol problems and daily smoking).

Methods.

Data were obtained from the 1983 Ontario Child Health Study and follow-up in 2000/2001 (n = 1893). Multilevel regression estimated the adjusted associations for PA (with severity) and SA with each of the outcomes. Estimates with an entire sample were presented with sex-by-abuse interactions to examine sex differences and then presented separately by sex.

Results.

In the adjusted model, severe PA and SA were associated with impairment in mental health, and both forms of PA (severe and non-severe) and SA were associated with low life satisfaction. In addition, severe PA was associated with illegal substance use. Child abuse variables were not associated with poor physical health, alcohol problems or smoking. Although sex-stratified analyses revealed different patterns, there was no significant sex difference in the integrated sample.

Conclusions.

This is among the first community-based studies to show a strong association between child PA and SA and low life satisfaction in young adults. The abuse effects were similar for both sexes.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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