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Childhood Family Violence and Adult Recurrent Depression

Ronald C. Kessler and William J. Magee
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 35, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 13-27
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137332
Page Count: 15
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Childhood Family Violence and Adult Recurrent Depression
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Abstract

Although previous research has shown that childhood adversity has long-term effects on adult depression, little is known about the causal pathways involved in these effects. In this report data from a two-wave longitudinal survey of the U.S. household population are used to study these pathways as they affect the association between childhood family violence and adult recurrence of depression. We focus on recurrence of depression because most episodes of clinically significant depression in adulthood occur to persons with a history of depression. We find that chronic interpersonal stress in adulthood mediates the effect of childhood family violence on recurrence of depression, and that childhood family violence modifies the effect of chronic adult interpersonal stress on recurrence of depression. Furthermore, in the absence of chronic adult interpersonal stress there is no association between childhood family violence and adult recurrence of depression.

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