Associations of childhood trauma and childhood mental disorder with past-year mental disorder in military and civilian employed men
Sheriff, Rebecca S.
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Childhood factors are pivotal to understanding mental health over the lifespan. However, there is a dearth of research exploring childhood trauma and childhood disorder simultaneously in determining adult mental disorder. We aimed to analyze childhood trauma and childhood disorder in determining past-year disorder in military and civilian employed men aged 18-60 years. Data derived from the 2010 Australian Defence Force (ADF) Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study, and the 2007 Australian Bureau of Statistics National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing were analysed using logistic regression and Generalised Structural Equation Modelling (GSEM). All major findings were consistent across both populations. The association between childhood disorder and past-year disorder remained after controlling for demographics, childhood and adult trauma (and service factors in the ADF). Childhood non-interpersonal trauma was not associated with past-year disorder in either population. The pathway between childhood trauma and past-year disorder was fully mediated by the spectrum of common childhood disorders, but not by childhood anxiety, depression or alcohol use disorders alone. Identification, intervention and prevention of childhood disorders is imperative. Investment in interventions targeting the influence of childhood traumatic events on the whole spectrum of childhood disorder, not only PTSD or anxiety, is a priority.