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Huh et al., 2014.pdf (677.85 kB)
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Childhood trauma and adult interpersonal relationship problems in patients with depression and anxiety disorders

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posted on 2023-05-18, 06:14 authored by Huh, HJ, Kim, S-Y, Yu, JJ, Chae, J-H
Introduction: Although a plethora of studies have delineated the relationship between childhood trauma and onset, symptom severity, and course of depression and anxiety disorders, there has been little evidence that childhood trauma may lead to interpersonal problems among adult patients with depression and anxiety disorders. Given the lack of prior research in this area, we aimed to investigate characteristics of interpersonal problems in adult patients who had suffered various types of abuse and neglect in childhood. Methods: A total of 325 outpatients diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders completed questionnaires on socio-demographic variables, different forms of childhood trauma, and current interpersonal problems. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) was used to measure five different forms of childhood trauma (emotional abuse, emotional neglect, physical abuse, physical neglect, and sexual abuse) and the short form of the Korean-Inventory of Interpersonal Problems Circumplex Scale (KIIP-SC) was used to assess current interpersonal problems. We dichotomized patients into two groups (abused and non-abused groups) based on CTQ score and investigated the relationship of five different types of childhood trauma and interpersonal problems in adult patients with depression and anxiety disorders using multiple regression analysis. Result: Different types of childhood abuse and neglect appeared to have a significant influence on distinct symptom dimensions such as depression, state-trait anxiety, and anxiety sensitivity. In the final regression model, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and sexual abuse during childhood were significantly associated with general interpersonal distress and several specific areas of interpersonal problems in adulthood. No association was found between childhood physical neglect and current general interpersonal distress. Conclusion: Childhood emotional trauma has more influence on interpersonal problems in adult patients with depression and anxiety disorders than childhood physical trauma. A history of childhood physical abuse is related to dominant interpersonal patterns rather than submissive interpersonal patterns in adulthood. These findings provide preliminary evidence that childhood trauma might substantially contribute to interpersonal problems in adulthood.


Publication title

Annals of General Psychiatry





Article number









Faculty of Education


BioMed Central Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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