Childhood adversity

What are childhood adversities?

Childhood adversities encompass a range of childhood experiences, including loss of a close relative, bullying, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. The nature, timing, severity, and duration of exposure are likely to influence mental health outcomes.

What is the evidence for childhood adversities in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence suggests a medium-sized effect of higher rates of childhood adversity in people with bipolar disorder compared to controls, and a small effect when compared to people with major depression. No differences in rates of childhood adversities were found between people with bipolar disorder and people with schizophrenia.

Moderate quality evidence suggests childhood adversity in people with bipolar disorder is associated with small effects of more symptom episodes and severity, rapid cycling, psychosis, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use, suicides, and an earlier age at onset compared to people with bipolar disorder with no childhood adversity.

April 2019

Last updated at: 3:44 am, 4th April 2019
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