Linking a History of Childhood Abuse to Adult Health among Canadians: A Structural Equation Modelling Analysis.


Applied Health Sciences PhD Program, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba, 311 Human Ecology Building, 35 Chancellors Cir, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada. [Email]


A history of childhood abuse has been linked to serious and long-lasting problems in adulthood. We developed two theoretical models concerning how early adverse experiences affect health in adulthood, and we tested the empirical fit of the two models in a population-based representative sample of Canadian adults (N = 25,113) using a structural equation modelling (SEM) technique, path analysis. The first model included direct pathways by which a history of three types of childhood abuse-exposure to intimate partner violence, physical abuse, and sexual abuse-affected adult physical and mental health, as well as indirect pathways by which perceived social support and everyday life stress acted as mediators of these associations. The second model included only indirect pathways and tested mediating effects. Global statistics indicated that both models were a good fit to the data, and local statistics supported the hypothesized associations between independent, dependent, and mediator variables.


adult survivor,child abuse,family/domestic violence,life course health development,path analysis,structural equation modelling,

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