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Cumulative childhood maltreatment and depression among incarcerated youth Impulsivity and hopelessness as potential intervening variables. .pdf (221.48 kB)

Cumulative childhood maltreatment and depression among incarcerated youth: impulsivity and hopelessness as potential intervening variables

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posted on 2024-03-07, 16:04 authored by Sonya G. Wanklyn, David M. Day, Trevor HartTrevor Hart, Todd GirardTodd Girard

Youth involved in the juvenile justice system are at high risk for mental health problems, particularly depression. Furthermore, these youth often present with a history of childhood maltreatment. Despite research consistently demonstrating a link between childhood maltreatment and depression, our understanding of intervening factors of this relationship remains limited. This study examined impulsivity, hopelessness, and substance use as potential explanatory variables in the relationship between cumulative childhood maltreatment and depression severity among 110 incarcerated youth. The data were analyzed using path analysis. As hypothesized, cumulative maltreatment maintained a strong direct relation with depression severity in the context of the additional variables in the final model. Cumulative maltreatment also had an indirect relation with depression severity through both impulsivity and hopelessness. Contrary to expectation, substance use was not an explanatory variable in the model. These findings suggest that impulsivity and hopelessness might be important factors to consider in future studies on the relation between childhood maltreatment and depression symptoms among incarcerated youth.

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