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Childhood Adversity and Traumatic Stress among Inpatients at a Psychiatric Hospital in the Baltimore Area from 1993-1995 (ICPSR 36168)

Principal Investigator(s): Carlson, Eve, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System


Childhood Adversity and Traumatic Stress among Inpatients at a Psychiatric Hospital in the Baltimore Area from 1993-1995 includes data collected from adult patients at a psychiatric hospital about their experiences and symptoms throughout their lives.

The study sought to address the following research topics:

  1. The capacity of childhood family environment (caretaker dysfunction, neglect, perceived social support), violent abuse (physical and sexual), and individual variables (other abuse) to predict adult psychiatric symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation, and depression.
  2. How psychiatric inpatient research participants appraised the level of upset and potential usefulness of research participation related to trauma-focused research interviews.
  3. What patterns of gaps in memory are reported across types of abuse (physical, sexual, neglect) and other types of traumatic stress.
  4. Whether and how low positive affect is related to specific childhood adversities, including abuse, neglect, caretaker dysfunction, and low childhood social support.

In addition, data from the study were used to develop and validate a self-report measure of traumatic stress symptoms and a brief, structured interview of self-destructiveness.

The data include diagnoses, psychological symptoms, and structured interview responses related to physical and sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and self-destructive behavior. Age, sex, marital status, race, and socioeconomic status comprise the demographic data.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


Carlson, Eve. Childhood Adversity and Traumatic Stress among Inpatients at a Psychiatric Hospital in the Baltimore Area from 1993-1995. ICPSR36168-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-04-15. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36168.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36168.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health. Violence and Traumatic Stress Research Branch (R29 MH49401)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    abused children, child health, child neglect, depression (psychology), mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological wellbeing, sexual abuse, social support

Geographic Coverage:    Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1993-02--1995-10

Date of Collection:   

  • 1993-02--1995-10

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:    Inpatients in a psychiatric hospital.

Data Type(s):    clinical data, survey data


Sample:    Participants were inpatients in a large, private, nonprofit psychiatric hospital primarily serving urban and suburban areas. The researchers sought to interview all newly admitted patients during a 3.5-year period who were between the ages of 30 and 45 (in order to limit the length of the recall period for childhood experiences). During the study period, 2,468 patients in the specified age range were admitted and their therapists were contacted. The researchers received replies to their contacts in regard to 1,013 of these patients rapidly enough to permit contact before the patient was discharged. Because the average length of stay for patients was only seven days by the end of the first year of data collection, patients were often on the verge of discharge by the time their therapists received the researchers' request. Therapists receiving the requests may have failed to respond when they knew a patient would be leaving the hospital before he or she could have been interviewed, but researchers were not able to collect data on the reasons for therapist nonresponse. Of therapists who replied, permission was given in regard to interviewing 884 patients (87 percent) and permission was refused in regard to 129 patients (13 percent). Of the 884 patients researchers were given permission to approach, 293 were discharged before they could be contacted. Of the 591 patients researchers did contact, 217 completed all or most of the interview, 180 declined to participate, and 194 were not interviewed because they were discharged, were not available to be interviewed, or did not complete the interview. Although the final number of patients interviewed is small compared to the number admitted during the study period, the actual refusal rate was 30 percent (180 of 591).

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Weight:    The data are not weighted. There is no weight variable included in this dataset.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview, on-site questionnaire

Response Rates:    55 percent

Presence of Common Scales:    Structured Interview for PTSD (SI-PTSD), Structured Interview for Self Destructiveness (SI-SD), Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), Structured Interview for Social Support as a Child (SI-SSC), Modified version of Physical Violence Scale of the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS), Hollingshead's Two-Factor Index of Social Position

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2016-04-15

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