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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Maltreated Children Grown Up: The Influence of Neighborhood.

NCJ Number
Date Published
10 pages
This study examined the effects of childhood neighborhood characteristics on the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of abused and neglected individuals and matched controls followed into adulthood (N = 1,132).
Using generalized linear models (GLM), the results indicated that growing up in more advantaged neighborhoods (middle and upper class) was associated with the development of fewer PTSD symptoms, R2 = .09, p < .001. In contrast, growing up in more economically disadvantaged areas was associated with more PTSD symptoms, but only for non-maltreated controls, R2 = .09, p < .001. The study did not find that neighborhood characteristics were associated with PTSD in terms of the number of traumatic events reported, R2 = .60, p < .001, or being the victim of more than one type of maltreatment, pseudo R2 = .11, p < .001. The results generally supported the premise that characteristics of one's residential environment in childhood, especially factors reflecting social and economic advantage and disadvantage, have an influence on mental health functioning later in life. Future research should examine the mechanisms that might explain the impact of childhood neighborhood on PTSD outcomes and the aggravating effects of pre-trauma vulnerabilities associated with neighborhood disadvantage. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019