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Journal Article


Keane C, Magee CA, Lee JK. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2014; 34(1): 18-26.


Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia.


(Copyright © 2014, John Wiley and Sons)






INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: This paper examined whether recall of childhood trauma was associated with adult alcohol consumption in a sample of Australians with low housing security. The secondary aim was to examine whether risky alcohol consumption predicted subsequent housing instability. Sociodemographic factors were examined as potential moderators of these associations. DESIGN AND METHODS: This paper utilised data collected through the Journeys Home Study, a longitudinal study of a representative sample of individuals who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. This paper focused on 1224 participants aged 18 years and over. Data on alcohol use, childhood trauma and sociodemographic characteristics were collected through interviews at baseline. Homeless status at 6- to 12-month follow-up was assessed via interview. Logistic regression modelling was used to examine associations of alcohol consumption with childhood abuse, sociodemographic factors and changes in homelessness status.

RESULTS: Self-reported recall of childhood experiences of violence was significantly associated with low-risk (odds ratio = 1.54, 95% confidence interval [1.01, 2.35]) and risky (odds ratio = 2.35, 95% confidence interval [1.41, 3.94]) drinking. Recall of childhood neglect was associated with a lower likelihood of risky drinking (odds ratio = 0.57, 95% confidence interval [0.34, 0.96]). Additionally, risky drinkers were significantly more likely to remain homeless at follow-up (odds ratio = 1.85, 95% confidence interval [1.16, 2.96]). Several effects varied significantly by indicators of socio-economic status.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that traumatic experiences during childhood (particularly violence) are significantly associated with risky alcohol consumption in later life and may be most pronounced in those facing the greatest social disadvantage. Furthermore, risky consumption may contribute to subsequent housing instability. [Keane C, Magee CA, Lee JK. Childhood trauma and risky alcohol consumption: A study of Australian adults with low housing stability. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014].

Language: en


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