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Child Maltreatment, Adult Trauma, and Mental Health Symptoms Among Women Veterans: A Scoping Review of Published Quantitative Research.

Presseau C, Carney JR, Kline NK, Grimshaw AA, DeMoss L, Gunderson C, Portnoy GA. Child Maltreatment, Adult Trauma, and Mental Health Symptoms Among Women Veterans: A Scoping Review of Published Quantitative Research. Trauma, violence & abuse. 2024 Mar 11; DOI: 10.1177/15248380241234345.

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The objective of this scoping review was to describe and synthesize the measures, methods, and key findings of published quantitative research examining the influence of child maltreatment (i.e., abuse and/or neglect) and adult trauma exposure on mental health symptoms among women Veterans. A systematic search from database inception to June 2023 generated 18,861 unique articles retrieved and independently screened for eligibility. A total of 21 articles met pre-established inclusion criteria: (a) quantitative data and results within a sample or subsample of U.S. women veterans, (b) published in a peer-reviewed journal, and (c) examining variables of interest simultaneously (i.e., child maltreatment, adult trauma exposure, mental health symptom) in quantitative analyses. Reviewed literature showed a lack of uniformity in measurement and methodologies to evaluate women veterans' lifetime trauma exposure in relation to mental health. Studies most frequently used self-report survey data to evaluate exposure to child maltreatment and/or adult trauma with convenience samples of women veterans (52.4%, = 11) and examined depressive and/or posttraumatic stress symptomatology. Findings demonstrate the need for additional research attending to the interplay between child maltreatment and adult trauma exposures in relation to women veterans' mental health using comprehensive assessment, longitudinal methods, and understudied as well as more representative samples.

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