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Exposure to interparental violence and psychosocial maladjustment in the adult life course: advocacy for early prevention
  1. C Roustit1,
  2. E Renahy1,
  3. G Guernec1,
  4. S Lesieur1,
  5. I Parizot2,
  6. P Chauvin1
  1. 1 INSERM, UMR S707, Research Group on the Social Determinants of Health and Health Care, Paris, France;
  2. 2 Centre Maurice Halbwachs (CNRS-EHESS-ENS), Research Group on Social Inequalities, Paris, France
  1. E-mail: christelle.roustit{at}inserm.fr

Abstract

Background: Early family-level and social-level stressors are both assumed to be the components of two main path models explaining the association between exposure to interparental violence in childhood and its long-term consequences on mental health explored through lifecourse epidemiological studies. Aims: To investigate the association between exposure to interparental violence in childhood and mental health outcomes in adulthood when taking into account early family and social stressors.

Methods: A retrospective French cohort study of 3023 adults representative of the general population in the Paris metropolitan area was conducted in 2005 through athome, face-to-face interviews. The outcomes measures were current depression and lifetime suicide attempt, intimate partner violence, violence against children and alcohol dependence.

Results: The adults exposed to interparental violence during childhood had a higher risk of psychosocial maladjustment. After adjusting for family- and social-level stressors in childhood, this risk was, respectively, 1.44 (95% CI 1.03 to 2.00) for depression, 3.17 (1.75 to 5.73) for conjugal violence, 4.75 (1.60 to 14.14) for child maltreatment and 1.75 (1.19 to 2.57) for alcohol dependence.

Conclusions: The adult consequences of parental violence in childhood - and this independently of the other forms of domestic violence and the related psychosocial risks - should lead to intensifying the prevention of and screening for this form of maltreatment of children.

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