QIMR Berghofer

Ethnic and sex differences in the association of child maltreatment and depressed mood. The HELIUS study.


BACKGROUND: Maltreatment in childhood increases the risk of depression later in life. The influence of ethnicity and sex on this relationship is less well understood. OBJECTIVE: This paper examines ethnic and sex differences in rates of child maltreatment (CM) and depressed mood in adulthood and investigates whether the association between CM and depressed mood in adulthood is influenced by ethnicity and sex. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Baseline data from the multiethnic HELIUS study (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) was analyzed and consisted of 22,551 participants aged 18-70 years from Dutch, African Surinamese, South Asian-Surinamese, Turkish, Moroccan, or Ghanaian ethnic backgrounds. METHODS: Physical, sexual and psychological abuse, and emotional neglect in childhood were self-reported and depressed mood was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. RESULTS: Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that emotional neglect and psychological abuse both have significant positive relationships with depressed mood. Furthermore, these associations were consistent across ethnic groups. The addition of ethnicity-by-maltreatment interaction terms to a main effects model revealed that Ghanaians who reported physical abuse in childhood were the only ethnic group with significantly increased odds for depressed mood (OR?=?2.62, p?=? .001), with the same being true for Moroccans who experienced sexual abuse in childhood (OR?=?1.91, p?=? .008). No sex differences were found in the relationships between CM and depressed mood. CONCLUSIONS: The association between different types of CM and depressive symptoms may not always be uniform across ethnic groups. Greater understanding of the nuances present in these relationships is required to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies for multiethnic populations.

Authors Sunley, Angela K; Lok, Anja; White, Melanie J; Snijder, Marieke B; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Zantvoord, Jasper B; Derks, Eske M
Journal Child abuse & neglect
Pages 104239
Volume 99
Date 1/11/2019
Grant ID
Funding Body
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104239