Childhood trauma and risky alcohol consumption: A study of Australian adults with low housing stability

Authors

  • Carol Keane,

    1. Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • Christopher A. Magee,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
    • Correspondence to Dr Christopher Magee, Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Tel: +61 2 4221 3716; Fax: +61 2 4221 3370; E-mail: chistropher_magee@uow.edu.au. [Correction added on 29 December 2014, after first online publication: The corresponding author's email address has been updated.].

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  • Jeong Kyu Lee

    1. Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • Carol Keane B Psyc Hons, PhD (Clinical Psychology) Candidate, Christopher A. Magee PhD, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director, Jeong Kyu Lee PhD, Research Fellow.

Abstract

Introduction and Aims

This paper examined whether recall of childhood trauma was associated with adult alcohol consumption in a sample of Australians with low housing security. The secondary aim was to examine whether risky alcohol consumption predicted subsequent housing instability. Sociodemographic factors were examined as potential moderators of these associations.

Design and Methods

This paper utilised data collected through the Journeys Home Study, a longitudinal study of a representative sample of individuals who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. This paper focused on 1224 participants aged 18 years and over. Data on alcohol use, childhood trauma and sociodemographic characteristics were collected through interviews at baseline. Homeless status at 6- to 12-month follow-up was assessed via interview. Logistic regression modelling was used to examine associations of alcohol consumption with childhood abuse, sociodemographic factors and changes in homelessness status.

Results

Self-reported recall of childhood experiences of violence was more likely among current drinkers, risky or not, than among abstainers. Recall of childhood neglect was more common among abstainers than among risky drinkers.

Discussion and Conclusions

The relationships between recall of childhood trauma and adult alcohol consumption are likely to be complex. Risky consumption may contribute to continuing homelessness among adults with unstable housing. [Correction added on 29 December 2014, after first online publication: The Results, and Discussion and Conclusion sections in the abstract have been replaced.]. [Keane C, Magee CA, Lee JK. Childhood trauma and risky alcohol consumption: A study of Australian adults with low housing stability. Drug Alcohol Rev 2015;34:18–26]

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