Is there Complex Trauma Experience typology for Australian's experiencing extreme social disadvantage and low housing stability?
Traumatic childhood experiences predict many adverse outcomes in adulthood including Complex-PTSD. Understanding complex trauma within socially disadvantaged populations has important implications for policy development and intervention implementation. This paper examined the nature of complex trauma experienced by disadvantaged individuals using a latent class analysis (LCA) approach. Data were collected through the large-scale Journeys Home Study (N = 1682), utilising a representative sample of individuals experiencing low housing stability. Data on adverse childhood experiences, adulthood interpersonal trauma and relevant covariates were collected through interviews at baseline (Wave 1). Latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify distinct classes of childhood trauma history, which included physical assault, neglect, and sexual abuse. Multinomial logistic regression investigated childhood relevant factors associated with class membership such as biological relationship of primary carer at age 14 years and number of times in foster care. Of the total sample (N = 1682), 99% reported traumatic adverse childhood experiences. The most common included witnessing of violence, threat/experience of physical abuse, and sexual assault. LCA identified six distinct childhood trauma history classes including high violence and multiple traumas. Significant covariate differences between classes included: gender, biological relationship of primary carer at age 14 years, and time in foster care. Identification of six distinct childhood trauma history profiles suggests there might be unique treatment implications for individuals living in extreme social disadvantage. Further research is required to examine the relationship between these classes of experience, consequent impact on adulthood engagement, and future transitions though homelessness.
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