Childhood trauma, resilience and depression

Giovanni Camardese, Luigi Janiri, Beniamino Leone, Bruna Mattioli, Riccardo Serrani, Mariangela Treglia

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Background: It is well-established that childhood trauma (emotional, physical neglect /abuse) increases the risk of developing mood disorder in adult life. We investigated the severity of early traumatic experiences and the resilience of patients with mood disorders; then we analyzed correlations between the early traumatic experience and psychopathological dimensions. Methods: 136 subjects with a diagnosis of Mood Disorder, according to the criteria of the DSM-IV-TR and affected by current major depressive episode (MDE) referring to Day-Hospital of the Institute of Psychiatry of the Catholic University in Rome were consecutively considered for the study. Baseline psychometric assessments included measures of depressive and anxiety symptoms (HDRS and HARS) and some specific psychopathological dimensions of depression such as retardation, pleasure and aggression (DRRS, SHAPS, AQ). The level of social adjustment was measured with the SASS, the resilience with the CD-RISC and childhood abuse with the CTQ. Depressed group was compared to 100 healthy controls homogeneous for age and gender, in which psychiatric disorders were excluded using the MINI. Results: Significantly higher levels of childhood trauma were reported in depressed patients than in the healthy subjects. Depressed females reported higher rates of childhood trauma than depressed males. Firstly we found that the levels of early psychological neglect were positively correlated to high levels of anxiety (p<0.5), but at the same time they negatively correlated to the amount of resilience and social adaptation (p<0.5). Severity of childhood abuse and early traumatic exposure correlated significantly with a lesser degree of resilience in patients, although we did not find a statistically significant difference between gender and resilience. The study confirmed significant positive correlation between aggressiveness and CTQ. Conclusions: Early emotional neglect would contribute more to the development of complex psychopathological dimensions than other forms of child abuse. Future research should investigate resilience as an environmental and genetic protective factor, in order to further our understanding of the correlations between childhood trauma and depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-53
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event12th International Forum on Mood and Anxiety Disorders - Barcellona
Duration: 7 Nov 20129 Nov 2012


  • Resilience
  • Trauma


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