Accumulation of trauma over time and risk for depression in a twin sample

V. V. McCutcheon, A. C. Heath, E. C. Nelson, K. K. Bucholz, P. A. F. Madden and N. G. Martin (2009) Accumulation of trauma over time and risk for depression in a twin sample. Psychological Medicine, 39 3: 431-441. doi:10.1017/S0033291708003759

Author V. V. McCutcheon
A. C. Heath
E. C. Nelson
K. K. Bucholz
P. A. F. Madden
N. G. Martin
Title Accumulation of trauma over time and risk for depression in a twin sample
Journal name Psychological Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0033-2917
Publication date 2009
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0033291708003759
Volume 39
Issue 3
Start page 431
End page 441
Total pages 11
Editor Kenneth S Kendler
Robin M Murray
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
Formatted abstract
Background Few genetically informative studies have examined the effects of different types of trauma on risk for depression over time. The aim of the present study was to examine the relative contributions over time of assaultive trauma, non-assaultive trauma, and familial effects to risk for depression.

Method Histories of depression and trauma were obtained during structured diagnostic interviews with 5266 (mean age 29.9 years, s.d.=2.4) members of a volunteer Australian twin panel from the general population. Age at first onset of a DSM-IV major depressive episode was the dependent variable. Associations of depression with traumatic events were examined while accounting for the temporal sequence of trauma and depression and familial effects.

Results Assaultive traumatic events that occurred during childhood had the strongest association with immediate and long-term risk for depression, and outweighed familial effects on childhood-onset depression for most twins. Although men and women endorsed equal rates of assaultive trauma, women reported a greater accumulation of assaultive events at earlier ages than men, whereas men reported a greater accumulation of non-assaultive events at all ages.

Conclusions Early exposure to assaultive trauma can influence risk for depression into adulthood. Concordance for early trauma is a significant contributor to the familiality of early-onset depression.
Keyword Childhood abuse
twin study
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Additional Notes Published online by Cambridge University Press 04 Jun 2008

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 23 Mar 2010, 17:55:28 EST by Amanda Jones on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital