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Research reveals link between childhood maltreatment and mental health conditions

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May15,2024
The top line: A University of Sydney study found childhood maltreatment accounted for 41 per cent of suicide attempts in the nation, 35 per cent of cases of self-harm and 21 per cent of depression.

The bigger picture: The analysis is the first to provide estimates of the proportion of mental health conditions in Australia that arise from childhood maltreatment.

The key quote: The study had a tailored focus on emotional abuse and neglect, not commonly discussed when talking about child abuse. Lead researcher Dr Lucy Grummitt said child maltreatment did not discriminate.
“When that (emotional support) isn’t coming from the parent, it really can have flow-on effects in so many different areas of their life,” Grummitt said.
What else to know: Mental health conditions researched in the study were anxiety, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, self-harm and suicide attempts.
Childhood maltreatment is classified as physical, sexual and emotional abuse and emotional or physical neglect before the age of 18.
What happens next: The study found if childhood maltreatment was eradicated in Australia, more than 1.8 million cases of depression, anxiety and substance use disorders could be prevented.
Researchers say childhood maltreatment should be treated as a national public health priority, with schools having a big role to play in addressing the issue.
Readers seeking crisis support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged up to 25). More information and support with mental health is available at and on 1300 22 4636.
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Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Research reveals link between childhood maltreatment and mental health conditions”
  1. Could you please elaborate more on the methodologies used in this research study to establish the connection between childhood maltreatment and specific mental health conditions?

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