Direct and indirect effects of childhood adversity on adult depression.
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Exposure to adverse events in childhood is a predictor of subsequent exposure to adverse events in adulthood, and both are predictors of depression in adults. The degree to which adult depression has a direct effect of childhood adversity versus an indirect effect mediated by adult adversity has not previously been reported. We report data collected from 210 adult participants regarding childhood and adult adversity and current symptoms of depression. Mediation of the relationship between childhood adversity and adult depression by adult adversity was statistically assessed to evaluate the relative direct and indirect effects of childhood adversity on current depression levels in adults. Both the direct effect of childhood adversity on adult depression and the indirect effect, mediated by adulthood events, were significant. Therefore, partial mediation of the relationship between childhood adversity and adult symptoms of depression by adult adverse events was found in the sample. Implications for treatment are presented.