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Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 341–349 | Cite as

Interpersonal Trauma Exposure, Trauma Symptoms, and Severity of Substance Use Disorder among Youth Entering Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Jennifer ColeEmail author
  • Ginny Sprang
  • Miriam Silman
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

A substantial body of literature has found associations between interpersonal victimization, trauma symptoms, and substance use disorders (SUD) among adolescents. Secondary data analysis was conducted on structured interview data collected by treatment providers as 172 adolescents (ages 12–19) entered outpatient substance abuse treatment. Results indicate high prevalence rates of interpersonal trauma exposure: 71.5% self-reported trauma exposure, specifically direct physical abuse or assault, sexual abuse or assault, and/or witnessing intimate partner violence of a parent. Severity of SUD, as measured by number of DSM-5 criteria endorsed, was not only associated with the number of types of criterion A events for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder but also more self-reported internalizing problems. There was no significant relationship between the severity of SUD and the severity of trauma symptoms at treatment intake, gender, or attention problems. Ongoing assessment of possible trauma symptoms is recommended throughout substance abuse treatment with youth who have reported trauma exposure, as well as continued screening of trauma exposure.

Keywords

Interpersonal victimization Posttraumatic stress disorder Internalizing problems Adolescents 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported in part by the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Division of Behavioral Health under a contract with the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Disclosure of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation [institutional and national] and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.”

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, Department of Behavioral ScienceUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Center on Trauma and ChildrenUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Center on Trauma and ChildrenUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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