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Childhood Maltreatment Histories, Alcohol and Other Drug Use Symptoms, and Sexual Risk Behavior in a Treatment Sample of Adolescents

June 8, 2012

The authors tested a structural model of relations among self-reported childhood maltreatment, sexual risk behavior, and alcohol and other drug abuse and dependence symptoms in a sample of adolescents receiving outpatient substance abuse treatment.

An ethnically diverse sample of 394 adolescents (114 girls, 280 boys; mean age=16.3; SD=1.15 years; 44.9 percent Hispanic, 20.6 percent African-American, 25.4 percent white non-Hispanic, and 9.1 percent other) in two outpatient treatment settings were given structured interviews.

"Path analyses yielded findings consistent with a mediation model," the team reported. "Alcohol abuse and dependence symptoms mediated (1) relations between emotional neglect scores and sex with co-occurring alcohol use and (2) relations between sexual abuse scores and sex with a co-occurring alcohol use. Drug abuse and dependence symptoms mediated relations between (1) neglect scores and (2) sexual intercourse with co-occurring alcohol or drug use, as well as unprotected sexual intercourse."

"Efforts to treat alcohol or drug use problems among adolescents or to prevent transmission of HIV or other [STDs] among youths with substance use problems may require tailoring treatment or prevention protocols to address client histories of maltreatment," the authors concluded.

Back to other news for June 2012

Adapted from:
American Journal of Public Health
05.2012; Vol. 102; No. S2: P. S250-S257; Assaf Oshri, PhD; and others

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
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