Authors: Abajobir AA, Najman JM, Williams G, Strathearn L, Clavarino A, Kisely S
Psychiatry Res. 2017 Jun 09;256:21-31
This study investigates the association between exposure to prospectively-substantiated childhood maltreatment between 0 and 14 years of age and lifetime cannabis use, abuse and dependence reported at 21 years. Data were taken from 2526 (51.6% female) participants in the Mater Hospital-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy, a pre-birth, prospective, cohort study. Prospectively-substantiated cases of childhood maltreatment, reported to the government child protection agencies between 0 and 14 years of age, were linked to CIDI DSM-IV self-report data from the 21-year follow-up. Exposure to any childhood maltreatment, and childhood neglect in particular, predicted subsequent cannabis abuse with adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of 1.79 and 2.62, respectively. Any childhood maltreatment, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect predicted cannabis dependence with AORs of 2.47, 2.81, 2.44 and 2.68, respectively. The associations for an early age of onset of cannabis abuse and dependence were significant and consistent for maltreated children. In addition, frequency of maltreatment substantiations predicted cannabis abuse, dependence and an early age of onset of these disorders. The AORs for cannabis ever use without any DSM-IV cannabis disorder were 1.78 for any maltreatment and 2.15 for emotional abuse. Any childhood maltreatment and neglect predicted lifetime ever cannabis use, as well as cannabis use disorder. There was little evidence for any interaction between gender and different forms of childhood maltreatment and its association with cannabis use disorders. Physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, as well as multiple episodes of maltreatment independently predicted cannabis use disorders.