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Although significant associations of childhood adversities with adult mental disorders are widely documented, most studies focus on single childhood adversities predicting single disorders.
To examine joint associations of 12 childhood adversities with first onset of 20 DSM–IV disorders in World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys in 21 countries.
Nationally or regionally representative surveys of 51 945 adults assessed childhood adversities and lifetime DSM–IV disorders with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Childhood adversities were highly prevalent and interrelated. Childhood adversities associated with maladaptive family functioning (e.g. parental mental illness, child abuse, neglect) were the strongest predictors of disorders. Co-occurring childhood adversities associated with maladaptive family functioning had significant subadditive predictive associations and little specificity across disorders. Childhood adversities account for 29.8% of all disorders across countries.
Childhood adversities have strong associations with all classes of disorders at all life-course stages in all groups of WMH countries. Long-term associations imply the existence of as-yet undetermined mediators.
This chapter deals with disaster mental health research in children, and systematically examines the extant literature, focusing on methodological issues. Children represent the ideal age group to study in order to gain insight into the etiology of psychopathology in the aftermath of disaster. Any postdisaster child assessment should necessarily involve a two-step process, including a detailed characterization of the child's exposure and the possible related reactions. The chapter proposes a three-category disaster typology based on the distribution of different types of disaster exposures. The chapter focuses on reports of reactions related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children after mass traumatic events, with studies being reviewed within the context of the proposed typology. Psychiatric disorders observed in children after large-scale traumatic events include a range of disorders, with PTSD and depression being the most commonly assessed.