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The Impact of Childhood Maltreatment on Young Adults Substance Abuse: a Reaction

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By kerosene3825
Words 607
Pages 3
Christine Wilson
Psy1462
March 21, 2014

The Impact of Childhood Maltreatment on Young Adults’ Substance Abuse:
A Reaction. This article contains information regarding a study carried out between 1976 and 1987 about individuals who were subject to different types of abuse between the ages of 10 and 17. The research seemed eager to show what the correlation was between type of abuse the child suffered through and what type of addiction, if any, that the victims acquired over the years. The study followed 842 participants through four years of initial interviews and 7 waves of re-interviewing for the purpose of seeking out addiction information. The final wave of testing, done in 1987, was when the youngest participants reached the maximum age of 24. The final total of 762 individuals whom answered every question and completed every interview was used to create the final graph regarding demographic versus addiction type. The study was split up by race, sex, age, and socio-economic background (welfare, etc.). The mediating effects of depression in later substance abuse were also discussed. Though interesting, this particular study lacks in depth. According to the results, sexual abuse plays very little role in substance abuse and I find this to be highly unlikely. I do agree that alcoholism is likely to be more prevalent in physical abuse cases. Quite often there seems to be a connection between alcohol and violence that it would seem likely would carry on into the victim. It is quite common for those abused as children to become abusive later on and if alcohol were involved in their abuse, to follow that trail as well. In cases where depression was also a factor, levels of alcohol abuse show a higher prevalence. In order to create a more definitive study, it is likely that specific types of abuse need to be entered into the interview process. I believe this would be better handled using anonymous surveys than an interview style. When it comes to discussing abuse and addiction, not all participants will feel comfortable discussing the levels of their abuse regardless of the scientific means with which the information is discovered. For example, a male is more likely to admit to being physically abused in terms of violence than he is to admit sexual abuse. This would leave out information crucial to the study’s ultimate truthfulness and relevance. Studies like this one are important in learning how to treat potential abuse victims effectively in a manner that would help them deal productively before substance abuse became an issue. Knowing the mediating effects of depression on an already fragile psyche could assist in a much faster diagnosis when the warning signs are present. In order to effectively treat current addicts, knowing the prevalence of abuse within addiction types would be a productive addition to any treatment regimen. In summary, though I find the study to be a start in the right direction; I believe that further research should have been attained before this study was published. Ultimately the title of this study should have been “Addiction and Physical Abuse Patterns” as too much information is left out for it to be a study on general abuse as a whole with regards to addiction. Sexual abuse is known in general to be a mediating factor amongst women with alcohol and drug abuse issues and that is not properly notated here. There is much more to be learned before this article becomes truly relevant.

Works Cited
Lo, C. C., & Cheng, T. C. (2007). The impact of childhood maltreatment on young adult's substance abuse. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 139-146.…...

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