Childhood adversities are key etiological factors in the onset and persistence of psychopathology. In Northern Ireland the Troubles also impacted on the population’s psychological health. This study used data from the Northern Ireland Study of Health and Stress a collaborative epidemiological study which used the WMH-CIDI to assess mental health disorders in a nationally representative sample (Part 2, n=1,986). The aims of the study were to assess cooccurrences of childhood adversities and investigate the impact of adversity profiles and conflict experience on psychopathology and suicidal behavior. Latent Class Analysis uncovered 3 discrete childhood adversity profiles, a low, medium, and high risk class. Individuals from higher risk adversity profiles displayed significantly increased odds of having psychological problems, with conflict exposure also impacting on psychopathology. However, the study revealed that the impact of conflict exposure on suicidal behaviour was moderated by latent class membership and that some adversity may actually be protective. The findings highlight the need to consider that, while adversity can have a negative impact on psychopathology, a lack of adversity early in life may hinder some people from developing adequate coping strategies. Further research is required to identify adversity patterns and other interacting factors that are protective.
- mental health
- childhood adversities