chapter  1
The association between childhood abuse, health and pain-related problems, and the role of psychiatric disorders and current life stress
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AGROWING BODY of literature has established an associationbetween childhood abuse and adult health problems. In the current chapter we review the literature which has generally shown an association between childhood abuse (physical and/or sexual) and subsequent health problems, as well as increased pain reports in association with health problems. We will also discuss our research based on the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), a representative sample of men and women aged 15 to 54 from the US population. Using these data, we have shown that health problems are distinctly increased in individuals who have experienced childhood sexual or physical abuse, that individuals who experienced childhood abuse report more pain in association with their health problems, and that current life stressors moderate the relationship between abuse and health such that the presence of stress doubles the effect of childhood abuse on health problems. We also discuss the influence of

psychiatric disorders on the relationship between abuse and health problems.