CHILDHOOD ABUSE AND RISK FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN ADOLESCENCE AND ADULTHOOD FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMATOLOGY
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Developmental traumatology is the systematic investigation of the psychobiological impact of overwhelming and chronic interpersonal stress on the developing child. The article presents a review of current research examining etiological links between child physical and/or sexual abuse and subsequent psychiatric disorders. The data suggest that abuse experiences are associated with alterations of biological stress systems in abused children. Dysregulation of major biological stress response systems often observed in abused children and adolescents may lead to an enhanced vulnerability for psychopathology, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. These disorders are associated with an enhanced risk for adolescent or young adult onset alcohol or substance use disorders.
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