Relationship between specific adverse life events and psychiatric disorders

Quyen Q. Tiet, Hector R. Bird, Christina W. Hoven, Robert Moore, Ping Wu, Judy Wicks, Peter S. Jensen, Sherryl Goodman, Patricia Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


This study examines whether certain psychiatric disorders are associated more closely with adverse life events than other disorders are, and whether some adverse life events are associated with a specific group of disorders (e.g., depressive disorders), but not with other disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders). A probability sample of youth aged 9-17 at 4 sites is used (N = 1,285). Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions identify specific relationships between 25 adverse life events and 9 common child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, measured by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Dysthymia are significantly associated with many of the adverse life events examined, whereas Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Social Phobia are related to very few. This study suggests that certain psychiatric disorders may be more closely associated with adverse life events than other psychiatric disorders are, and that some adverse life events seem to be related to specific types of disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Adverse life events
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Children and adolescents
  • Depressive disorders
  • Disruptive disorders
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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