Year: 2000 Source: Psychological Medicine, v.30, no.3, (May 2000), p.529-544 SIEC No: 20010375

The aims of this study were to use longitudinal report data on physical & sexual abuse to examine the stability & consistency of abuse reports. The study was based on the birth cohort of young people studied in the Christchurch Health & Development Study. At ages 18 & 21, these young people were questioned about their childhood exposure to physical punishment & sexual abuse. They were also assessed on measures of psychiatric disorders & suicidal behaviour. Those reporting sexual abuse or regular physical punishment had an increased relative risk of suicide ideation & suicide attempts. Results indicated a substantial unreliability in the reporting of child abuse. The source of this unreliability & the consequences of it are discussed in detail. (49 refs.)