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

Jennifer Cole, Ginny Sprang, Miriam Silman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Internalizing problems
  • Interpersonal victimization
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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