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Does Emotion Dysregulation Mediate the Relationship between Early Maltreatment and Later Substance Dependence? Findings of the CANSAS Study

Wolff, Sebastian ; Holl, Julia ; Stopsack, Malte ; Arens, Elisabeth A. ; Höcker, Anja ; Staben, Katharina A. ; Hiller, Philipp ; Klein, Michael ; Schäfer, Ingo ; Barnow, Sven

In: European Addiction Research, 22 (2016), Nr. 6. pp. 292-300. ISSN 1022-6877 (Druck-Ausg.), 1421-9891 (Online-Ausg.)

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Background/Aims: Maltreatment in childhood and adolescence is a risk factor for substance use disorders (SUDs) in adulthood. This association has rarely been investigated in the light of emotion dysregulation. To fill this gap, this study examines emotion dysregulation and SUDs among adults with a history of early maltreatment.

Methods: Comparison of emotion dysregulation in adults with a history of early abuse and neglect who developed either an SUD (n = 105) or no mental disorder (n = 54). Further, a mediation model for the association between the severity of early maltreatment and SUDs was tested. Participants completed research diagnostic interviews for psychopathology, the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire.

Results: By using hierarchical regression techniques and mediational analyses controlling for age and gender, it was possible to provide evidence for the mediating role of emotion dysregulation between early emotional and physical maltreatment and later SUDs.

Conclusions: Emotion dysregulation is a potential mechanism underlying the relationship between early emotional and physical maltreatment and the development of SUDs. In light of these findings, focusing on the early training of adaptive emotion regulation strategies after childhood maltreatment might be of considerable relevance to prevent the development of SUDs.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: European Addiction Research
Volume: 22
Number: 6
Publisher: Karger
Place of Publication: Basel ; Freiburg
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 10:34
Date: 2016
ISSN: 1022-6877 (Druck-Ausg.), 1421-9891 (Online-Ausg.)
Page Range: pp. 292-300
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Psychology
Subjects: 150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotion dysregulation , early maltreatment , substance use disorders , mediation , training of emotion regulation strategies
Additional Information: Dieser Beitrag ist aufgrund einer (DFG-geförderten) Allianz bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich. This publication is freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
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