Childhood Physical Neglect and STI Risk in Young Adulthood

Abigail A. Haydon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jon Hussey, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Carolyn Tucker Halpern, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The impact of the family on demographic processes continues to be a central concern. Much recent work has focused on how early family experiences, such as abuse and neglect, impact future health. Evidence regarding the association between childhood maltreatment and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is mixed. Existing data are based largely on non-representative samples and self-reported STI status, and analyses often fail to distinguish between different types of maltreatment. The goal of this paper is to examine the association between childhood neglect and STIs in young adulthood, after controlling for other forms of maltreatment, using a national probability sample and test-identified STI measures. We also consider to what extent sexual risk behaviors mediate this association, and whether patterns of association between neglect and STI status vary by age, race/ethnicity, and biological sex. Our results indicate that physical neglect uniquely predicts STI status in young adulthood, but only among females.

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Presented in Poster Session 2