Title

The long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences on subsequent use of illicit drugs and alcohol in young adulthood: A prospective study

Date of Award

2007

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Epidemiology and Public Health

First Committee Member

Edward Trapido, Committee Chair

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the associations between adverse childhood experiences (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, other family and peer factors) and subsequent illicit drug use and binge drinking in young adulthood. Wave 1 and Wave 3 of the public-use data set from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used. Associations were identified between self-reported adverse childhood experiences and subsequent illicit drug use and binge drinking in young adulthood. For men, childhood physical abuse was associated with 70% (OR=1.70, 95% CI=1.18, 2.44) and 83% (OR=1.83, 95% CI=1.19, 2.82) increases in subsequent illicit drug use and hard drug use in young adulthood, respectively. Childhood neglect was associated with 34% (OR=1.34, 95% CI=1.01, 1.78) increases in subsequent binge drinking in young adulthood. Male respondents who reported higher parental expectations about school were more likely to use hard drugs (OR=1.26, 95% CI=1.05, 1.51) and engage in binge drinking (OR=1.14, 95% CI=1.00, 1.31). More important, these associations persisted even after controlling for baseline illicit drug use/binge drinking. For women, only childhood neglect was associated with subsequent hard drug use in young adulthood (OR=1.54, 95% CI=1.01, 2.35). However, after adjusting for adolescent illicit drug use, the OR decreased to 1.48 and became nonsignificant. No other maltreatment factors were significantly associated with adulthood illicit drug use and binge drinking for women. Female respondents who reported higher parental expectations about school were less likely to use hard drugs (OR=0.77, 95% CI=0.65, 0.91) and more parental presence was associated with a lower likelihood of using any illicit drugs (OR=0.85, 95% CI=0.74, 0.96). However, the later association was no longer significant once the baseline illicit drug use was taken into account. Women reporting easy availability of alcohol at home were 70% more likely to engage in binge drinking in young adulthood (OR=1.70, 95% CI=1.30, 2.22). The implications of the findings for substance use epidemiological and prevention research were discussed.

Keywords

Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Link to Full Text

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