Maladaptive family dysfunction and parental death as risk markers of childhood abuse in women

Anna Plaza, Anna Torres, Carlos Ascaso, Purificación Navarro, Estel Gelabert, Maria Luisa Imaz, Rocío Martín-Santos, Manuel Valdés, Lluïsa García-Esteve

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2014 Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. This study aims to examine the prevalence and characteristics of physical, emotional and sexual childhood abuse. It also examines whether other non-abuse types of childhood adversities related to maladaptive family functioning and separations during childhood can be used as markers for the presence of childhood abuse. Participants (N = 237) were women at 2-3 days after delivery that completed the Spanish-validated version of the Early Trauma Inventory Self Report (ETI-SR; Bremner, Bolus, & Mayer, 2007; Plaza et al., 2011), designed to assess the presence of childhood adversities. Results show that 29% of the women had experienced some type of childhood abuse, and 10% more than one type. Logistic regression analyses indicate that childhood parental death is a risk marker for childhood emotional abuse (OR: 3.77; 95% CI: 1.327-10.755; p <.013), childhood parental substance abuse is a risk marker for childhood sexual (OR: 3.72; 95% CI: 1.480-9.303; p <.005) and physical abuse (OR: 2.610; 95% CI: 1.000-6.812; p <.05) and that childhood family mental illness is a risk marker for childhood emotional (OR: 2.95; 95% CI: 1.175-7.441; p <.021) and sexual abuse (OR: 2.55; 95% CI: 1.168-5.580; p <.019). The high prevalence of childhood abuse indicates a need for assessment during the perinatal period. Screening for childhood family mental illness, parental substance abuse, and parental death - all identified risk factors for reporting childhood abuse - can help to identify women that should be assessed specifically regarding abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberE91
JournalSpanish Journal of Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2014


  • childhood emotional abuse
  • childhood physical abuse
  • childhood sexual abuse
  • postpartum period


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