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Does gender moderate the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adult depression?

Although considerable evidence demonstrates that adults who report childhood maltreatment are at increased risk of depression in adulthood, little is known about whether gender moderates risk. In a sample of 5,673 adult Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) patients, the authors employed the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8) to assess major depressive disorder (MDD) and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) to assess five different types of childhood maltreatment: emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as emotional and physical neglect. Logistic regression models tested the main and interactive effects of gender and childhood maltreatment. Consistent with previous studies, men and women with histories of each type of childhood adversity were significantly more likely to meet criteria for MDD. However, the authors found no evidence that gender moderates the risk of depression. These findings suggest that men and women reporting history of childhood maltreatment are equally likely to suffer major depression in adulthood.

Authors: Arnow BA; Blasey CM; Hunkeler EM; Lee J; Hayward C

Child Maltreat. 2011 Aug;16(3):175-83. Epub 2011 Jul 4.

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