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Positive affect, childhood adversity, and psychopathology in psychiatric inpatients

By Darryl W. Etter, Justin R. Gauthier, Elizabeth Mcdade-montez, Marylene Cloitre and Eve B. Carlson


Background: Low positive affect is closely related to common pathological responses to childhood adversity, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, but little is known about how the characteristics of early adversity experiences might be related to positive affect in adulthood. Objective: This study aimed to explore whether low positive affect is related to specific childhood adversities, including abuse, neglect, caretaker dysfunction, and low childhood social support. Method: Using structured interviews and self-report measure data collected from 173 adult psychiatric inpatients, this study examined the relationship between positive affect and symptoms of psychopathology, as well as how the number of types of abuse experienced, severity of adversity types (physical abuse and sexual abuse), childhood environment (childhood social support, neglect, and caretaker dysfunction), and number of non-abuse traumas related to positive affect. Results: Positive affect was significantly negatively related to several symptoms of psychopathology, including depression, dissociation, self-destructive behavior, PTSD, and global psychopathology. Individuals who experienced both physical and sexual abuse reported significantly less positive affect than those with only physical or no abuse experiences. Lower positive affect was predicted by lower childhood social support and greater severity of sexual abuse, with both factors accounting for unique variance in positive affect

Topics: childhood adversity, positi
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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