Differential association of child abuse with self-reported versus laboratory-based impulsivity and risk-taking in young adulthood.

Sujan AC, Humphreys KL, Ray LA, Lee SS
Child Maltreat. 2014 19 (3-4): 145-55

PMID: 25034226 · DOI:10.1177/1077559514543827

Young adults (ages 18-26) with (n = 20) and without (n = 55) a history of child abuse (CA) completed self-report and laboratory-based measures of impulsivity and risk-taking. Relative to individuals without abuse histories, individuals with a history of CA self-reported a greater number of lifetime sexual partners as well as elevated trait impulsivity (specifically, elevated lack of premeditation and lack of perseverance). No group differences were observed for self-reported safety-related behaviors and risk-taking propensity. Notably, however, laboratory-based measures suggested that individuals with a history of CA showed significantly less impulsivity and risk-taking than individuals without abuse histories. These results suggest that self-report and laboratory measures of risk-taking and impulsivity measured in emerging adulthood may differentially relate to CA. Specifically, whereas laboratory-based measures may be influenced by hypervigilance or in the moment actions, self-report measures may assess more general behaviors related to real-world impulsivity and risk-taking.

© The Author(s) 2014.

MeSH Terms (14)

Adolescent Adult Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Age Factors Case-Control Studies Female Humans Impulsive Behavior Male Psychological Tests Risk-Taking Self Report Sexual Partners Young Adult

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