Stephanie Lake BHSc, MSc Student, Research Assistant, Evan Wood MD, PhD, Director and Professor, Huiru Dong MSc, Statistician, Sabina Dobrer MA, Data Analyst, Julio Montaner MD, Director and Professor, Thomas Kerr PhD, Director and Associate Professor.
The impact of childhood emotional abuse on violence among people who inject drugs
Article first published online: 18 MAR 2014
© 2014 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 4–9, January 2015
How to Cite
Lake, S., Wood, E., Dong, H., Dobrer, S., Montaner, J. and Kerr, T. (2015), The impact of childhood emotional abuse on violence among people who inject drugs. Drug and Alcohol Review, 34: 4–9. doi: 10.1111/dar.12133
- Issue published online: 19 JAN 2015
- Article first published online: 18 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Received: 2 DEC 2013
- US National Institutes of Health. Grant Numbers: R01DA011591, R01DA021525
- emotional abuse;
- injection drug use
Introduction and Aims
Childhood emotional abuse is a known risk factor for various poor social and health outcomes. While people who inject drugs (IDU) report high levels of violence, in addition to high rates of childhood maltreatment, the relationship between childhood emotional abuse and later life violence within this population has not been examined.
Design and Methods
Cross-sectional data were derived from an open prospective cohort of IDU in Vancouver, Canada. Childhood emotional abuse was measured using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. We used multivariate logistic regression to examine potential associations between childhood emotional abuse and being a recent victim or perpetrator of violence.
Between December 2005 and May 2013, 1437 IDU were eligible for inclusion in this analysis, including 465 (32.4%) women. In total, 689 (48.0%) reported moderate to severe history of childhood emotional abuse, whereas 333 (23.2%) reported being a recent victim of violence and 173 (12.0%) reported being a recent perpetrator of violence. In multivariate analysis, being a victim of violence (adjusted odds ratio = 1.49, 95% confidence interval 1.15–1.94) and being a perpetrator of violence (adjusted odds ratio = 1.58, 95% confidence interval 1.12–2.24) remained independently associated with childhood emotional abuse.
Discussion and Conclusions
We found high rates of childhood emotional abuse and subsequent adult violence among this sample of IDU. Emotional abuse was associated with both victimisation and perpetration of violence. These findings highlight the need for policies and programmes that address both child abuse and historical emotional abuse among adult IDU. [Lake S, Wood E, Dong H, Dobrer S, Montaner J, Kerr T. The impact of childhood emotional abuse on violence among people who inject drugs. Drug Alcohol Rev 2015;34:4–9]