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Abstract

This article investigates whether childhood abuse and neglect subtypes (i.e., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and physical and emotional neglect) differentially predict the severity of individual posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters and overall posttraumatic stress. Eighty-nine patients admitted to the short-term adolescent treatment unit of a psychiatric hospital completed a battery of psychological assessments. Findings of multiple regression analyses showed that emotional and sexual abuse rather than physical abuse, emotional neglect, or physical neglect is related to individual symptom cluster severity and overall posttraumatic stress. Results suggested that a greater level of specificity is necessary when assessing child abuse and posttraumatic stress because each level provides more specific information about how to intervene to reduce the risk of negative outcomes.