BACKGROUND Child maltreatment occurs frequently.This has detrimental effects later in life on mental health and is linked to considerable costs due to health care use and sick leave. Self-mastery, however, is a factor that may well mitigated the effects of child maltreatment. AIM To quantify the long-Term costs of child abuse and to test the hypothesis that self-mastery can modify the after-effects of maltreatment. METHOD Data were obtained from a psychiatric cohort study (n=56i8).The risk factors were emotional neglect and mental, physical and sexual abuse before the age of 16. RESULTS When individuals are about 39 years old, the various forms of maltreatment to which they were subjected as children are associated with substantially higher health care costs and frequent absenteeism. Higher levels of self-mastery achieved in childhood were indeed associated with lower costs in adulthood. CONCLUSION Child maltreatment costs the Netherlands millions of euros annually because it leads to higher health care costs and more frequent sick leave. Active steps to curb child abuse are of both financial and economic significance. More training in self-mastery could perhaps be helpful, but further research is needed in this area.

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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Speetjens, P. (Paula), Thielen, F., Have, M. (Margreetten), de Graaf, R., & Smit, F. (2016). Child maltreatment: Long-Term economic consequences and implications. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie (Vol. 58, pp. 706–711). Retrieved from