Demographic and mental health correlates of childhood emotional abuse and neglect in a Hong Kong sample

Hong Wang Fung, Hei Man Chung, Colin A. Ross

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


BACKGROUND:Adverse childhood experiences are an important public health issue. It is well documented that they are associated with many health problems. Nevertheless, little is known about childhood emotional abuse and neglect (CEA and CEN) among Hong Kong people. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to explore the demographic and mental health correlates of CEA and CEN in a Hong Kong sample. METHODS:A total of N = 418 Hong Kong adults completed an online survey that included questions regarding demographic information and measures of adverse childhood experiences, depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and somatoform dissociation. RESULTS:The rates of CEA and CEN were 43.3 % and 44.5 % respectively in this convenience sample. Both CEA and CEN were associated with poor socioeconomic status. They were also associated with psychiatric service usage and all five types of mental health problems. Both CEA and CEN increased the chance of having mental health problems even after taking into account the effects of other forms of childhood abuse and neglect. CONCLUSIONS:This study is the first to show that CEA and CEN are significantly associated with poor socioeconomic status and mental health problems in the Hong Kong context. Implications are discussed. Further studies are needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2019


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