Childhood maltreatment profile in a clinical population in China: A further analysis with existing data of an epidemiologic survey


Abstract To determine the lifetime prevalence and diverse profiles of types of childhood maltreatment (CM) in a high-risk clinical sample using standardized assessment tools (Child Trauma Questionnaire, CTQ) in China, Shanghai, 2090 subjects were sampled from the Shanghai Mental Health Centre. Personality disorder (PD) was assessed using the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire (PDQ-4+) and subjects were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID-II). \{CTQ\} was used to assess \{CM\} in five domains (emotional abuse, EA; physical abuse, PA; sexual abuse, SA; emotional neglect, EN; and physical neglect, PN). The prevalence estimate of \{EA\} in the sample is 22.2%, followed by 17.8% of PA, and 12.5% of SA. The prevalence estimate was more frequent in \{PN\} (65.0%) and in \{EN\} (34.0%) than in childhood abuse (EA, \{PA\} and SA). It seems that males reported more \{PA\} and females reported more SA, the older subjects reported more neglect and the younger subjects reported more abuse. There was a higher prevalence of \{EA\} and \{SA\} in borderline \{PD\} patients (44.4%, 22.5%), \{PA\} in antisocial \{PD\} patients (38.9%). Multi-PD patients reported more forms of \{CM\} in childhood. Additionally, factor analysis of \{CTQ\} items confirmed factorial validity by identifying a five-factor structure that explained 50% of the total variance. These findings support the view that prevalence of \{CM\} was commonly experienced in clinical population during their childhood, especially for subjects with PDs. Factorial validity in \{PN\} needs to be further improved, and can in part be culturally explained.