Examining Perceived Stress, Childhood Trauma and Interpersonal Trauma in Individuals With Drug Addiction

Julia Garami*, Ahmad Valikhani, Denise Parkes, Paul Haber, Justin Mahlberg, Blazej Misiak, Dorota Frydecka, Ahmed A. Moustafa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The investigation of psychosocial factors in relation to opiate addiction is limited and typically uses binary measures to assess how incidences of childhood trauma correlate with addiction. There has also been a lack of enquiry into how experiences of noninterpersonal versus interpersonal trauma may impact drug use addiction. In this regard, the current study utilized a novel measurement of interpersonal versus noninterpersonal lifetime trauma and a scale assessing severity of childhood trauma to examine how these factors may impact patients with opioid addiction. The interaction between these factors and current perceived stress was also examined. Thirty-six opioid-dependent individuals (recruited from the Drug Health Services and Opioid Treatment Program at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia) and 33 healthy controls completed the Childhood Maltreatment Questionnaire, Lifetime Trauma Survey, and Perceived Levels of Stress Scale. The patient group reported significantly greater childhood trauma severity, more incidences of lifetime trauma, and higher perceived stress than controls. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the severity of childhood trauma was more strongly associated with addiction status than perceived stress. A greater number of lifetime trauma incidence was the best predictor of addiction. Contrary to expectations, noninterpersonal lifetime trauma was a better predictor of addiction status than was interpersonal lifetime trauma. Results suggest that lifetime trauma and childhood trauma may play an important factor in opioid addiction over what can be accounted for by stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-450
Number of pages18
JournalPsychological Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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