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Childhood Maltreatment, Psychiatric Symptoms, and Suicidal Thoughts among Adolescents Receiving Substance Use Treatment Services

Authors
  • Tubman, Jonathan G.1
  • Oshri, Assaf2
  • Duprey, Erinn B.3
  • Sutton, Tara E.4
  • 1 American University
  • 2 University of Georgia
  • 3 University of Rochester
  • 4 Mississippi State University
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Adolescence
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Apr 08, 2021
Volume
89
Pages
18–27
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2021.03.002
PMID: 33839366
PMCID: PMC8184606
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Introduction: Childhood maltreatment experiences are associated with future suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, yet the roles of specific psychiatric symptoms mediating this relation remain to be clarified. To clarify these relations, we tested a model incorporating multiple forms of childhood maltreatment (sexual abuse, physical punishment, emotional neglect), past year psychiatric disorder symptoms during adolescence (anxiety, mood, and conduct disorders) and recent suicidal thoughts. Methods: We administered structured interviews to 394 adolescents receiving outpatient substance use treatment services in the Southeastern United States (280 males; M age=16.33; SD age=1.15). Structural equation models (SEMs) were used to evaluate the degree to which relations between childhood maltreatment and suicidal thoughts were mediated by specific past-year psychiatric symptoms. Results: Mood disorder symptoms significantly mediated the relation between neglect/negative home environment and suicidal thoughts. This path of influence did not vary by gender. Conclusions: Childhood maltreatment and subsequent psychopathology influence suicidal thoughts among adolescents receiving substance use treatment services. The findings of the present study have implications for the adaptation and delivery of substance use treatment services to adolescents to enhance treatment engagement and outcomes.

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