Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Contents:

Information:

  • Access
  • Cited by 2

Actions:

      • 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.

        Child sexual abuse and substance use disorders: role of psychiatric comorbidity
        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.

        Child sexual abuse and substance use disorders: role of psychiatric comorbidity
        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.

        Child sexual abuse and substance use disorders: role of psychiatric comorbidity
        Available formats
        ×
Export citation

We read with interest the paper by Spataro et al (2004) considering associations between child sexual abuse and subsequent psychopathology using a prospective cohort design. This study clearly indicates a positive association between child sexual abuse and a range of mental disorders, although not substance use disorders. We think that the authors make an important point in their discussion that this latter absence of an association might be at least-partly due to their methodology for assessing psychiatric outcome. They implemented a diagnostic hierarchy in such a way that when substance use problems were accompanied by other psychiatric disorders, these comorbid conditions were counted and not the substance use.

It is important for the reader to know that substantial comorbidity between substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders is consistently reported (e.g. Kessler et al, 1997a ). Thus, one could suggest that this prospective study does not demonstrate an association between child sexual abuse and more pure forms of substance use disorders. This would be in line with other findings suggesting a lack of association between childhood trauma (including child sexual abuse) and pure substance use disorders, but a strong relationship between childhood trauma and psychiatric comorbidity in substance use disorders (Kessler et al, 1997b ; de Graaf et al, 2002).

De Graaf, R., Bijl, R. V., Smit, F., et al (2002) Risk factors for 12-month comorbidity of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders: findings from The Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 620629.
Kessler, R. C., Crum, R. M., Warner, L. A., et al (1997a) Lifetime co-occurrence of DSM – III – R alcohol abuse and dependence with other psychiatric disorders in the national comorbidity survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 54, 313321.
Kessler, R. C., Davis, C. G. & Kendler, K. S. (1997b) Childhood adversity and adult psychiatric disorder in the US National Comorbidity Survey. Psychological Medicine, 27, 11011119.
Spataro, J., Mullen, P. E., Burgess, P. M., et al (2004) Impact of child sexual abuse on mental health. Prospective study in males and females. British Journal of Psychiatry, 184, 416421.