Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 39, Issue 11, pp 857–865 | Cite as

Epidemiology of multiple childhood traumatic events: child abuse, parental psychopathology, and other family-level stressors

  • C. B. MenardEmail author
  • K. J. Bandeen-Roche
  • H. D. Chilcoat



Multiple family-level childhood stressors are common and are correlated. It is unknown if clusters of commonly co-occurring stressors are identifiable. The study was designed to explore family-level stressor clustering in the general population, to estimate the prevalence of exposure classes, and to examine the correlation of sociodemographic characteristics with class prevalence.


Data were collected from an epidemiological sample and analyzed using latent class regression.


A six-class solution was identified. Classes were characterized by low risk (prevalence=23%), universal high risk (7 %), family conflict (11 %), household substance problems (22 %), non-nuclear family structure (24 %), parent’s mental illness (13 %).


Class prevalence varied with race and welfare status, not gender. Interventions for childhood stressors are person-focused; the analytic approach may uniquely inform resource allocation.

Key words

child abuse epidemiology latent class analysis multiple stressors 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. B. Menard
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. J. Bandeen-Roche
    • 2
  • H. D. Chilcoat
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcester (MA) 01655USA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dept. of BiostatisticsBaltimore (MD)USA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dept. of Mental HealthBaltimore (MD)USA

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