Emerging adulthood is the period of greatest risk for problematic substance use. The primary aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between a broad measure of child maltreatment and several key outcomes for a large clinical sample of emerging adults (n = 858) and adolescents (n = 2,697). The secondary aim was to examine the extent to which the relationship between child maltreatment and treatment outcomes differed between emerging adults and adolescents. Multilevel latent growth curve analyses revealed emerging adults and adolescents who experienced child maltreatment reported significantly greater reductions over time on several treatment outcomes (e.g., substance use, substance-related problems, and emotional problems). Overall, analyses did not support differential relationships between child maltreatment and changes over time in these substance use disorder treatment outcomes for emerging adults and adolescents. The one exception was that although emerging adults with child maltreatment did reduce their HIV risk over time, their improvements were not as great as were the improvements in HIV risk reported by adolescents who had experienced child maltreatment.
The relationship between child maltreatment and substance abuse treatment outcomes among emerging adults and adolescents