The variance shared across forms of childhood trauma is strongly associated with liability for psychiatric and substance use disorders
AuthorKristjansson, S; McCutcheon, VV; Agrawal, A; Lynskey, MT; Conroy, E; Statham, DJ; Madden, PAF; Henders, AK; Todorov, AA; Bucholz, KK; ...
Source TitleBrain and Behavior
PublisherJOHN WILEY & SONS INC
University of Melbourne Author/sDegenhardt, Louisa
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsKristjansson, S., McCutcheon, V. V., Agrawal, A., Lynskey, M. T., Conroy, E., Statham, D. J., Madden, P. A. F., Henders, A. K., Todorov, A. A., Bucholz, K. K., Degenhardt, L., Martin, N. G., Heath, A. C. & Nelson, E. C. (2016). The variance shared across forms of childhood trauma is strongly associated with liability for psychiatric and substance use disorders. BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR, 6 (2), https://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.432.
Access StatusOpen Access
INTRODUCTION: Forms of childhood trauma tend to co-occur and are associated with increased risk for psychiatric and substance use disorders. Commonly used binary measures of trauma exposure have substantial limitations. METHODS: We performed multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), separately by sex, using data from the Childhood Trauma (CT) Study's sample of twins and siblings (N = 2594) to derive three first-order factors (childhood physical abuse, childhood sexual abuse, and parental partner abuse) and, as hypothesized, one higher order, childhood trauma factor (CTF) representing a measure of their common variance. RESULTS: CFA produced a good-fitting model in the CT Study; we replicated the model in the Comorbidity and Trauma (CAT) Study's sample (N = 1981) of opioid-dependent cases and controls. In both samples, first-order factors are moderately correlated (indicating they measure largely unique, but related constructs) and their loadings on the CTF suggest it provides a reasonable measure of their common variance. We examined the association of CTF score with risk for psychiatric and substance use disorders in these samples and the OZ-ALC GWAS sample (N = 1538) in which CT Study factor loadings were applied. We found that CTF scores are strongly associated with liability for psychiatric and substance use disorders in all three samples; estimates of risk are extremely consistent across samples. CONCLUSIONS: The CTF is a continuous, robust measure that captures the common variance across forms of childhood trauma and provides a means to estimate shared liability while avoiding multicollinearity.
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