Child abuse and neglect may affect an individual's physical and mental health in both direct and indirect ways. Maltreatment during infancy and early childhood has been shown to negatively affect early brain development and in turn contribute to negative behavioral health outcomes into adolescence and adulthood. The immediate emotional effects of abuse and neglect—isolation, fear, and an inability to trust—can translate into lifelong consequences, including poor mental health and behavioral health outcomes and increased risk for substance use disorder.
Attachment Style, Adult Well-Being, and Childhood Trauma
Summarizes research integrating self-report and objective measures elucidating the relationship between child maltreatment and negative mental and physical health outcomes over time.
Childhood Trauma Has Lifelong Health Consequences for Women
Population Reference Bureau
Reviews how trauma and adverse childhood experiences in childhood raise the risk of several health issues for women including cancer, depression, and obesity.
Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development
Abuse, Trauma, and Mental Health
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office on Women’s Health
Explores how trauma and abuse are related to mental health and provides answers to frequently asked questions about the mental health outcomes of abuse and trauma.
The Devastating Clinical Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect: Increased Disease Vulnerability and Poor Treatment Response in Mood Disorders
Lippard & Nemeroff (2019)
American Journal of Psychiatry
Discusses physiological reactions to childhood maltreatment that contribute to the long-term mental health disparities observed within the population.
Developmental Trauma Disorder: The Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect
Defines developmental trauma disorder (DTD) and its relationship to posttraumatic stress disorder. The article discusses support and treatment options for victims of DTD.
How Childhood Abuse Changes the Brain
Examines how child abuse influences the brain and results in permanent changes that can cause psychological and emotional challenges.
Child Maltreatment and the Development of Substance Use and Disorder
Cicchetti & Handley (2019)
Neurobiology of Stress, 10
Discusses the intersecting neurobiological and behavioral pathways created by child maltreatment that contribute to future substance use disorders.
The Link Between Child Abuse and Substance Abuse
American Addiction Centers
Summarizes research examining childhood maltreatment as a predictor of future substance use disorders and evidence-based treatments for these disorders.
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
Aims to improve collaboration between child welfare agencies, courts, and other organizations working with families and children affected by substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders along with child abuse and neglect.
Trauma and Substance Abuse
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Presents an overview of the connection between traumatic stress and substance abuse.