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This study investigates associations of several dimensions of childhood adversities (CAs) with lifetime mental disorders, 12-month disorder persistence, and impairment among incoming college students.
Data come from the World Mental Health International College Student Initiative (WMH-ICS). Web-based surveys conducted in nine countries (n = 20 427) assessed lifetime and 12-month mental disorders, 12-month role impairment, and seven types of CAs occurring before the age of 18: parental psychopathology, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, neglect, bullying victimization, and dating violence. Poisson regressions estimated associations using three dimensions of CA exposure: type, number, and frequency.
Overall, 75.8% of students reported exposure to at least one CA. In multivariate regression models, lifetime onset and 12-month mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders were all associated with either the type, number, or frequency of CAs. In contrast, none of these associations was significant when predicting disorder persistence. Of the three CA dimensions examined, only frequency was associated with severe role impairment among students with 12-month disorders. Population-attributable risk simulations suggest that 18.7–57.5% of 12-month disorders and 16.3% of severe role impairment among those with disorders were associated with these CAs.
CAs are associated with an elevated risk of onset and impairment among 12-month cases of diverse mental disorders but are not involved in disorder persistence. Future research on the associations of CAs with psychopathology should include fine-grained assessments of CA exposure and attempt to trace out modifiable intervention targets linked to mechanisms of associations with lifetime psychopathology and burden of 12-month mental disorders.
Daily social behavior and negative affect were examined in a sample of individuals with a wide spectrum of psychosis-proneness scores. Using the experience sampling method, participants were signaled five times per day for a 1-week period to provide naturalistic reports of location, activity, and social behavior. Little evidence was found for a direct association between psychosis-proneness and specific behavioral profiles, but individuals with higher scores of psychosis-proneness reported spending more time doing nothing or waiting. However, the levels of anxious and depressed moods experienced in certain social and environmental contexts were also predicted by psychosis-proneness scores. The present results indicate that psychosis-proneness was associated with an increase in anxiety when individuals were with friends and an increase in depressed mood in daily task situations such as working or studying. By contrast, psychosis-proneness predicted a decrease in depressed and anxious moods in other situations when the individual was not likely to be confronted by social contact with less known individuals, and lower anxious and depressed moods when in secure environments (in one's own home, home of family or friends). The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of understanding the expression of psychosis vulnerability and the potential reinforcement of maladaptive social behavior through operant conditioning mechanisms.
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