Jama logoPrevious analysis from the University of Toronto revealed that adults who face physical abuse as children have augmented chances of getting affected with osteoarthritis. However experts now highlight that abuse and ignorance during childhood are seemingly linked with increased mood, anxiety and substance use among young adults.

Earlier investigations of child abuse and later mental health have depended on reports of past abuse. However these reports are not reliable as past ill-treatment is said to have usually not been reported and memories can be manipulated. Moreover reports may be unstable as time passes.

Authors reveal, “After excluding these individuals from the comparison group, the magnitude of associations increased, with child protection agency history conferring a 10-fold higher odds of 12-month PTSD, together with elevated odds of other anxiety disorders, mood disorders and drug use disorders”.

Experts examined data accumulated from a nationally representative community survey of mental disorders among young adults aged between 16 and 27. The survey enlisted 2,144 young adults out of which 221 had history of child maltreatment as indicated by child protection agency records. They identified that 15 percent of the participants without a child protection agency record reported maltreatment.

Authors elucidate, “This implies, first, that targeted mental health interventions with present or past clients of child welfare agencies are indicated in addition to the interventions currently provided to stop or reduce the maltreatment; and second, that concerted population-level strategies are required to address the needs of the many other children who also experience maltreatment.”

Findings highlight that not just memory of maltreatment is linked with mental health disorders specifically in young adulthood. Experts revealed that childhood abuse and ignorance was linked with mental disorder and the findings were drawn after modifying demographic and socio-economic factors. The strongest connections were with PTSD and obsessive compulsive disorders.

These findings are according to a report in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.