A study of almost 600 male college students, averaging almost 30 years of age and who were not drawn from a clinical sample, examined the relationship between childhood experiences of sexual and physical abuse and currently reported personality disorder symptoms.
Childhood abuse histories were found to be definitively associated with greater levels of symptomatology. Severity of abuse was found to be statistically significant, but clinically negligible, in symptomatology variance spread over Cluster A, B and C scales
Child abuse and neglect consistently evidence themselves as antecedent risks to the development of personality disorders in adulthood. In the following study, efforts were taken to match retrospective reports of abuse with a clinical population that had demonstrated psychopathology from childhood to adulthood who were later found to have experienced abuse and neglect.
The sexually abused group demonstrated the most consistently elevated patterns of psychopathology.
Officially verified physical abuse showed an extremely strong role in the development of antisocial and impulsive behavior.
On the other hand, cases of abuse of the neglectful type that created childhood pathology were found to be subject to partial remission in adulthood.
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