A new study points out that children who have suffered multiple types of maltreatments are more likely to indulge in underage binge drinking.
The researchers examined the relationship of binge drinking with the co-occurrence of specific maltreatments like neglect, physical abuse only, sexual abuse, neglect and physical abuse and the combination of neglect, physical and sexual abuse.
They found that teenagers aged 12 and 21, with a history of sexual abuse were at two-fold odds of reporting binge drinking than those with no maltreatment.
On the other hand, teenagers who had experienced both neglect and physical abuse had 1.3 times higher odds of reporting binge drinking than those with no maltreatment
Those who experienced all three types of maltreatment were about 1.8 times more likely to report binge drinking.
"Research examining the effect of childhood maltreatment on later alcohol abuse needs to recognize the clustering effects of multiple types of childhood maltreatment on alcohol problems," the study from Boston University noted.
"We now have strong evidence indicating that adverse childhood experiences such as child maltreatment increases an individual's risk for alcohol problems in adolescence," said Sunny Hyucksun Shin, Assistant Professor of Human Behavior in the Social Environment at Boston University's School of Social Work.
"The new challenges we face in substance use research is to identify developmental mechanisms that link childhood maltreatment to heavy episodic drinking in adolescence that can be targeted in the future development of prevention intervention," he added.
The research appears in the Addictive Behaviors.