Childhood maltreatment and impact on clinical features of major depression in adults

Gustavo C. Medeiros, William L. Prueitt, Abu Minhajuddin, Shirali S. Patel, Andrew H. Czysz, Jennifer L. Furman, Brittany L. Mason, A. John Rush, Manish K. Jha, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study examined: 1) the prevalence of childhood maltreatment (CMT) in individuals with chronic and/or recurrent depression, 2) the association between CMT and depressive symptoms, 3) the link between CMT and worse clinical presentation of depression, 4) the effects of accumulation of different types of CMT, and 5) the relationship between the age at CMT and depression. Methods: We analyzed the baseline data of 663 individuals from the CO-MED study. CMT was determined by a brief self-reported questionnaire assessing sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. Correlational analyses were conducted. Results: Half of the sample (n = 331) reported CMT. Those with CMT had higher rates of panic/phobic, cognitive and anhedonic symptoms than those without CMT. All individual types of maltreatment were associated with a poorer clinical presentation including: 1) earlier MDD onset; 2) more severe MDD, 3) more suiccidality, 4) worse quality of life, and functioning, and 5) more psychiatric comorbidities. Clinical presentation was worse in participants who reported multiple types of CMT. Conclusions: In chronic and/or recurrent depression, CMT is common, usually of multiple types and is associated with a worse clinical presentation in MDD. The combination of multiple types of CMT is associated with more impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113412
JournalPsychiatry research
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Childhood trauma
  • Depression
  • Early life adversities
  • Major depression
  • Major depressive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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