Stressful Childhood Experiences and Clinical Outcomes in People with Serious Mental Illness: A Gender Comparison in a Clinical Psychiatric Sample

Kristina Muenzenmaier, Andres R. Schneeberger, Dorothy M. Castille, Joseph Battaglia, Azizi A. Seixas, Bruce Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines stressful childhood experiences (SCE) including childhood abuse and family context in a cohort of 183 people diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) and compares gender specific rates of SCE and clinical outcome variables. Methods: 111 men and 72 women with SMI were interviewed regarding SCE and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, dissociative symptoms, risk for self-harm, and adult re-victimization. Results: Both genders endorse high rates of SCE. Cumulative SCE (the sum of seven SCE) are linked to increased levels of all four outcome variables after adjusting for demographic factors. Conclusions: The study addresses the need to assess cumulative SCE in a population with SMI and its effects on clinical outcomes in both genders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2014



  • Childhood trauma
  • Cumulative trauma
  • Gender
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Serious mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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