The Role of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Corporal Punishment in Early Adulthood Depression and Substance Use among Ukrainian College Students

  • Viktor BurlakaEmail author
  • Jun Sung Hong
  • Iuliia Churakova
  • Oleksii Serdiuk
  • Volodymyr Proskura
  • Dmytro Shvets
Original Article


Violence against children is a worldwide problem, and a large body of research demonstrates both short-term and long-term negative outcomes. The present study employs structural equation modeling to examine the pathways from parents’ use of corporal punishment and childhood adverse experiences to depression and substance use in adulthood. Cross-sectional data were collected from a sample of 944 students (Mage = 19.16, 69% females) attending ten public universities in 27 Ukrainian regions. The model provided a good fit for the data: χ2 (59, N = 944) = 189.49, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.96, TLI = 0.95, RMSEA = 0.048. Higher scores on adverse childhood experiences (ACE) maltreatment items (psychological, physical and sexual abuse during childhood; b = .26, p < .001) were associated with higher depression during adulthood. Higher depression scores were linked with higher multiple substance use (b = .17, p < .001). Childhood adverse experiences had significant standardized indirect effect, mediated by depression, on adulthood involvement in substance use (b = 0.043, p < 0.01). Findings from this research suggest that young adults in Ukraine who remember being maltreated as children have a higher risk to develop depression and engage in substance use as adults.


Ukraine Depression Substance use Child maltreatment Corporal punishment Structural equation modeling 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Research Lab on Crime EnforcementKharkiv National University of Internal AffairsKharkivUkraine
  4. 4.Department of Sociology and Social WorkLviv Polytechnic National UniversityLvivUkraine
  5. 5.Kharkiv National University of Internal AffairsKharkivUkraine

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