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Age of traumatisation as a predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression in young women


Maercker, Andreas; Michael, Tanja; Fehm, Lydia; Becker, Eni S; Margraf, Jürgen (2004). Age of traumatisation as a predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression in young women. British Journal of Psychiatry, 184:482-487.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Findings in developmental psychopathology suggest that traumatisation in childhood may increase the risk of both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder, whereas traumatisation in adolescence is more likely to lead to elevated PTSD risk.

AIMS: To estimate the impact of traumatisation in childhood or adolescence in a community sample.

METHOD: A representative sample of 1966 young women from Dresden aged 18-45 years were interviewed for occurrence of traumatic events and the onset of PTSD and major depression. The sample was subdivided into a childhood trauma group (trauma up to age 12 years) and an adolescent trauma group (trauma from age 13 years).

RESULTS: A quarter of all participants reported traumatic events meeting the DSM AI criterion. In the childhood group conditional risks for PTSD and major depressive disorder were 17.0% and 23.3%, respectively, compared with risks of 13.3% and 6.5%, respectively, in the adolescent group. In 29% of those with PTSD, major depression was also present.

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of developing major depressive disorder after traumatisation in childhood is approximately equal to the risk of developing PTSD. After age 13 years, the risk of PTSD is greater than the risk of major depression after traumatisation.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Findings in developmental psychopathology suggest that traumatisation in childhood may increase the risk of both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder, whereas traumatisation in adolescence is more likely to lead to elevated PTSD risk.

AIMS: To estimate the impact of traumatisation in childhood or adolescence in a community sample.

METHOD: A representative sample of 1966 young women from Dresden aged 18-45 years were interviewed for occurrence of traumatic events and the onset of PTSD and major depression. The sample was subdivided into a childhood trauma group (trauma up to age 12 years) and an adolescent trauma group (trauma from age 13 years).

RESULTS: A quarter of all participants reported traumatic events meeting the DSM AI criterion. In the childhood group conditional risks for PTSD and major depressive disorder were 17.0% and 23.3%, respectively, compared with risks of 13.3% and 6.5%, respectively, in the adolescent group. In 29% of those with PTSD, major depression was also present.

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of developing major depressive disorder after traumatisation in childhood is approximately equal to the risk of developing PTSD. After age 13 years, the risk of PTSD is greater than the risk of major depression after traumatisation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2004
Deposited On:31 Oct 2012 14:18
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 20:40
Publisher:Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN:0007-1250
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.184.6.482
PubMed ID:15172941

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