The aim of the current study was to identify patterns of child maltreatment experienced prior to age 18 and examine the relationship between those patterns and substance use and mental health disorders among emerging adults. Data were from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. The analytic sample consisted of 5,194 adults between 18 and 25 years old. Latent class analysis revealed a three-class model: Rare Maltreatment (59%); Occasional Maltreatment, Rare Sexual Abuse (37%); and Frequent Maltreatment, Some Sexual Abuse (4%). Risk of substance use disorders and poor mental health was higher for the two classes who experienced maltreatment; however, those with Frequent Maltreatment had higher risk of poor mental health, but not substance use disorders compared to those with Occasional Maltreatment. Patterns of child maltreatment are important predictors of substance use and mental health disorders in emerging adulthood, but different patterns may necessitate specific intervention efforts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies