Child maltreatment and substances use throughout adolescence and adulthood: Data from a Brazilian Birth Cohort

Inaê Dutra Valério*, Ana Luiza Goncalves Soares, Ana Maria Baptista Menezes, Fernando Cesar Wehrmeister, Helen Gonçalves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Child maltreatment has been associated with substance use later in life, but few studies have used repeated measures.

Objective: To assess the association between child maltreatment and use of psychoactive substances from adolescence to early adulthood, and whether this differs by sex.

Participants and setting: 3641 participants from the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort, Brazil.

Methods: Child maltreatment (psychological, physical and sexual abuse, and physical neglect) was assessed up to age 15 and use of psychoactive substances (smoking, harmful use of alcohol and use of illicit drugs) was assessed at ages 15, 18, and 22 years. Associations between child maltreatment and use of substances at each time point were analyzed using logistic regression, adjusted for confounders.

Results: Overall, child maltreatment was associated with substance use, and the strength of the associations decreased over time. E.g., the association between psychological abuse and harmful use of alcohol was OR 2.17 (95%CI 1.80, 2.62; p-value < 0.001) at 15 years, OR 1.61 (95%CI 1.31, 1.97; p-value < 0.001) at 18 years, and OR1.55 (95%CI 1.22, 1.96; p-value < 0.001) at 22 years. When sex differences were evident, stronger associations were observed among females. E.g., the association between physical abuse and smoking at 15 years was OR 3.49 (95%CI 2.17, 5.62) in females and OR 0.87 (95%CI 0.30, 2.52) in males (p-value for sex interaction = 0.041).

Conclusions: Child maltreatment was associated with psychoactive substance in adolescence and early adulthood. Strategies to prevent use of substances could benefit those who suffered maltreatment in childhood.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105766
Number of pages8
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume131
Early online date25 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all participants of the 1993 Pelotas Cohort for kindly participating and collaborating with the survey. This work was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); the Wellcome Trust; the Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS); the European Union; Pastoral da Criança; the National Program for Centers of Excellence (PRONEX/CNPq) under Grant 400943/2013-1; the Ministry of Health of Brazil; the Department of Science and Technology (DECIT); and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel - Brazil (CAPES) under Grant 001. AGS is supported by the study of Dynamic longitudinal exposome trajectories in cardiovascular and metabolic non-communicable diseases [H2020-SC1-2019-Single-Stage-RTD, project ID 874739].

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); the Wellcome Trust ; the Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS); the European Union ; Pastoral da Criança ; the National Program for Centers of Excellence (PRONEX/ CNPq ) under Grant 400943/2013-1 ; the Ministry of Health of Brazil; the Department of Science and Technology ( DECIT ); and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel - Brazil (CAPES) under Grant 001 . AGS is supported by the study of Dynamic longitudinal exposome trajectories in cardiovascular and metabolic non-communicable diseases [H2020-SC1-2019-Single-Stage-RTD, project ID 874739].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

Keywords

  • Child maltreatment
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • illicit drugs
  • Longitudinal studies

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