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Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry

versão impressa ISSN 1516-4446versão On-line ISSN 1809-452X


VARES, Edgar A. et al. Childhood trauma and dimensions of depression: a specific association with the cognitive domain. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2016, vol.38, n.2, pp.127-134.  Epub 24-Nov-2015. ISSN 1809-452X.


To investigate associations between a history of childhood trauma and dimensions of depression in a sample of clinically depressed patients.


A sample of 217 patients from a mood-disorder outpatient unit was investigated with the Beck Depression Inventory, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the CORE Assessment of Psychomotor Change, and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. A previous latent model identifying six depressive dimensions was used for analysis. Path analysis and Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) models were used to investigate associations between general childhood trauma and childhood maltreatment modalities (emotional, sexual, and physical abuse; emotional and physical neglect) with dimensions of depression (sexual, cognition, insomnia, appetite, non-interactiveness/retardation, and agitation).


The overall childhood trauma index was uniquely associated with cognitive aspects of depression, but not with any other depressive dimension. An investigation of childhood maltreatment modalities revealed that emotional abuse was consistently associated with depression severity in the cognitive dimension.


Childhood trauma, and specifically emotional abuse, could be significant risk factors for the subsequent development of cognitive symptoms of major depression. These influences might be specific to this depressive dimension and not found in any other dimension, which might have conceptual and therapeutic implications for clinicians and researchers alike.

Palavras-chave : Depression; dimensions; childhood trauma; emotional abuse; cognition.

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