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Browsing by Author "Bergman, Matilda"

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  • Bergman, Matilda (2018)
    Purpose Childhood maltreatment is a significant risk factor for the development of mental disorders. Previous studies have shown that maltreatment is associated to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which impairs work capacity and social functioning, thus causing costs for the individual and society. However, the research concerning the effects of different kind of maltreatment experiences on and the pathways to GAD is scarce. Among the factors that predispose individual to anxiety disorders is a low sense of control, which also has been associated to childhood maltreatment. To date, sense of control has not been examined as a possible mediator or moderator of the relationship between maltreatment and GAD. This study aimed to examine the relationships of childhood physical and emotional maltreatment, the frequency, amount and perpetrator of maltreatment, and sense of control with GAD in adulthood. Additionally, the aim was to test sense of control as a possible mediator or moderator. Methods The data was derived from a large (n=5856) Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) -study. Childhood physical and emotional maltreatment was measured with Conflict Tactics Scales, the symptoms of GAD was measured with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short-Form (CIDI-SF), and sense of control was measured with a questionnaire composing of two scales, personal mastery and perceived constrains. Questionnaires and telephone interviews were used for data collection. Data analyses were conducted by logistic and linear regression analysis and analysis of covariance. Mediation effects were tested by using bootstrapping method. Results and conclusions The amount, type and frequency of child maltreatment were associated with the symptoms of GAD in adulthood. The risk formed by different kind of experiences of child maltreatment was associated with the sex of the respondent and whether the perpetrator was a sibling or a parent. Further, sense of control mediated the effect from child maltreatment to GAD. The results highlight the importance of early detection and intervention of maltreatment and enhancing sense of control in order to prevent GAD.