• Adverse experiences and suicidal ideation in adolescence: Exploring the link using the LONGSCAN samples

      Thompson, R.; Litrownik, A.J.; Isbell, P.; Everson, M.D.; English, D.J.; Dubowitz, H.; Proctor, L.J.; Flaherty, E.G. (American Psychological Association, 2012)
      Objective: Although widely studied in adults, the link between lifetime adversities and suicidal ideation in youth is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to explore this link in adolescents. Methods: The analyses used a sample of 740 16-year-old youth in the LONGSCAN sample, and distinguished between childhood (before the age of 12) and adolescent (between age 12 and age 16) adversities. Results: There was a significant link between cumulative lifetime adversities and suicidal ideation. There was no evidence that this link was moderated by gender. Childhood adversities moderated the effects of adolescent adversities on suicidal ideation; effects of adolescent adversities were strongest at low levels of childhood adversities. There was also some evidence supporting a specific cumulative model of the effects of adversities on suicidal ideation; the most predictive model included the sum of the following adversities: childhood physical abuse, childhood neglect, childhood family violence, childhood residential instability, adolescent physical abuse, adolescent sexual abuse, adolescent psychological maltreatment, and adolescent community violence. Conclusion: The timing and nature of adversities are important in understanding youth suicidal ideation risk; in particular, adolescent maltreatment and community violence appear to be strong predictors. Preventing and appropriately responding to the abuse of adolescents has the potential to reduce the risk of suicidal ideation. Copyright 2012 American Psychological Association.
    • Child maltreatment and age of alcohol and marijuana initiation in high-risk youth

      Proctor, L.J.; Lewis, T.; Roesch, S.; Thompson, R.; Litrownik, A.J.; English, D.; Arria, A.M.; Isbell, P.; Dubowitz, H. (Elsevier, 2017)
      Introduction Youth with a history of child maltreatment use substances and develop substance use disorders at rates above national averages. Thus far, no research has examined pathways from maltreatment to age of substance use initiation for maltreated youth. We examined the longitudinal impact of maltreatment in early childhood on age of alcohol and marijuana use initiation, and whether internalizing and externalizing behaviors at age 8 mediates the link between maltreatment and age of substance use initiation. Materials and methods Data were drawn from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) at ages 4, 8, 12, and 18. Maltreatment was assessed through reviews of administrative records and youth self-reports. Behavior problems were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist. Age of substance use initiation was assessed with the Young Adult version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. Results Path analyses indicated mediated effects from a history of maltreatment to age at first alcohol and marijuana use through externalizing behaviors. Considering type of maltreatment, direct effects were found from physical abuse to age of alcohol initiation, and mediated effects were found from sexual abuse and neglect to initial age of alcohol and marijuana use through externalizing behaviors. Direct effects for marijuana use initiation and indirect effects through internalizing behavior problems were not significant for either substance. Conclusions Externalizing behavior is one pathway from childhood maltreatment to age of substance use initiation. Services for maltreated youth should incorporate substance use prevention, particularly among those with early externalizing problems. Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd
    • Childhood Maltreatment, Emotional Distress, and Early Adolescent Sexual Intercourse: Multi-Informant Perspectives on Parental Monitoring

      Oberlander, S.E.; Wang, Y.; Thompson, R.; Lewis, T.; Proctor, L.J.; Isbell, P.; English, D.J.; Dubowitz, H.; Litrownik, A.J.; Black, M.M. (American Psychological Association, 2011)
      This prospective investigation used multi-informant models to examine whether parental monitoring moderated associations between child maltreatment and either emotional distress or sexual intercourse. Data included 637 youth in the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). Child maltreatment was determined by lifetime Child Protective Service records and youth self-report and included sexual, physical, psychological abuse, and neglect (age 12). The moderating variable was youth- and caregiver-reported parental monitoring (age 12). Outcome variables were emotional distress (age 12) and sexual intercourse (age 14). Analyses included multi- and individual-informant models, adjusting for age, ethnicity/race, family income, and study site. Rates of parental monitoring did not differ by gender, but gender-specific analyses found that among girls, but not boys, youth-reported parental monitoring buffered the effect of maltreatment on emotional distress. Subtype analyses found that the buffering effects of monitoring on emotional distress were strongest for sexual and physical abuse and when youth experienced multiple subtypes of maltreatment. Caregiver-reported monitoring was not associated with reduced emotional distress. Youth and caregiver reports of parental monitoring were inversely associated with sexual intercourse, regardless of maltreatment history. Findings suggest that promoting parental monitoring among caregivers, and perceptions of monitoring among youth, may prevent early sexual intercourse regardless of maltreatment history. Promoting parental monitoring among youth with a history of maltreatment, especially girls or those who have experienced sexual or physical abuse or multiple subtypes of abuse, may reduce the likelihood of emotional distress. Copyright 2011 American Psychological Association.
    • Developmental trajectories of behavior problems among children who have experienced maltreatment: Heterogeneity during early childhood and ecological predictors

      Tabone, J.K.; Guterman, N.B.; Litrownik, A.J.; Dubowitz, H.; Isbell, P.; English, D.J.; Runyan, D.K.; Thompson, R. (SAGE Publications Inc., 2011)
      The current study is a longitudinal investigation of unobserved heterogeneity in the developmental trajectories of problem behaviors among children who have experienced maltreatment. The goal of this study is to inform effective intervention plans with respect to behavior problems of maltreated children by examining the different trajectories of behavior problems and by assessing ecological risk factors related to each trajectory. This study utilized data from the Longitudinal Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, in which 827 maltreated children have been followed from age 4 to age 10. This study identified five distinctive developmental trajectories of maltreated children. In most trajectory groups, a specific set of ecological risk factors distinctively predicted the probability of membership in a specific group. The results are discussed with respect to individualized early intervention efforts toward those most likely to benefit. Copyright Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2011.
    • Linking childhood sexual abuse and early adolescent risk behavior: The intervening role of internalizing and externalizing problems

      Jones, D.J.; Lewis, T.; Litrownik, A.; Thompson, R.; Proctor, L.J.; Isbell, P.; Dubowitz, H.; English, D.; Jones, B.; Nagin, D.; et al. (International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 2013)
      A robust literature links childhood sexual abuse (CSA) to later substance use and sexual risk behavior; yet, relatively little empirical attention has been devoted to identifying the mechanisms linking CSA to risky behavior among youth, with even less work examining such processes in boys. With the aim of addressing this gap in the literature, the current study examined the indirect effect of childhood sexual abuse (CSA; from age 2 to 12) trajectory group on risky behavior at age 14 (alcohol use & sexual intercourse) via the intervening role of caregiver-reported internalizing and externalizing problems at age 12. Analyses were conducted with a subsample of youth (n = 657 sexual intercourse; n = 667 alcohol use) from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN), a multisite prospective study of youth at risk for maltreatment. For boys and girls, there was an indirect effect from CSA to sexual intercourse through externalizing problems. The same pattern emerged for alcohol use, but only for girls. Findings did not support an indirect path through internalizing problems for either boys or girls for either outcome. Findings suggest more focal targets for prevention efforts aimed at maintaining the health and safety of maltreated boys and girls during the adolescent transition. Copyright 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
    • Links between traumatic experiences and expectations about the future in high risk youth

      Thompson, R.; Wiley, T.R.A.; Lewis, T.; English, D.J.; Dubowitz, H.; Litrownik, A.J.; Isbell, P.; Block, S. (American Psychological Association, 2012)
      The current analyses examined the role of past traumatic experiences in predicting expectations about social, academic, and occupational outcomes. These analyses were conducted in a sample of 843 youth, each 14 years old, who were participants in the Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). The analyses took into account socioeconomic indicators. Three classes of expectations emerged from factor analyses: Academic/Employment Success, Employment Instability, and Social Instability. Predictors of future expectations included maltreatment, witnessed family and community violence, and caregiver and residential instability. Maltreatment predicted low expected Academic/Employment Success and high expected Employment Instability. Caregiver instability predicted Employment instability and Social Instability. Witnessed community violence predicted Social Instability. Witnessed family violence and residential instability did not predict any dimension of future expectations in these analyses. There is a need to better understand links between types of trauma and expectations about the future in at-risk youth, and how these expectations may in turn influence their futures. Copyright 2011 American Psychological Association.