Profiles of Childhood Trauma: Betrayal, Frequency, and Psychological Distress in Late Adolescence

Christina Gamache Martin, Mark J. Van Ryzin, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: With an emphasis on betrayal trauma, this study used latent profile analysis to examine how childhood traumas co-occur and whether trauma patterns differentially predicted psychological distress. Method: A community sample of 806 adolescents and young adults participated. Youths reported their trauma histories, and lifetime DSM-IV disorders were assessed using a structured diagnostic interview. Results: Latent profile analysis yielded 5 profiles: high betrayal trauma physical violence and emotional abuse (HBTPE), high betrayal trauma sexual and emotional abuse (HBTSE), low betrayal trauma (LBT), parent death (PD), and a no/low trauma profile. Logistic regression analyses compared youths in the no/low trauma profile to those in the trauma profiles. Youths in the HBTPE profile were more likely to have moderate/severe major depressive disorder (odds ratio [OR] = 2.92, 95% CI [1.16, 7.32]), posttraumatic stress disorder (OR = 4.33, 95% CI [1.34, 14.03]), and hallucinations (OR = 5.03, 95% CI [2.00, 12.67]); youths in the HBTSE and LBT profiles were more likely to experience hallucinations (OR = 3.19, 95% CI [1.21, 8.39] and OR = 3.20, 95% CI [1.01, 10.19], respectively); and youths in the PD profile were more likely to have moderate/severe depression (OR = 2.42, 95% CI [1.07, 5.43]). Conclusions: Specific trauma types co-occurred when considering type, level of betrayal, and frequency. The emergence of the 2 high betrayal trauma profiles, with differing symptom presentations, suggests that experiences of high betrayal traumas are not homogenous and specific trauma-focused interventions may be more appropriate for differing trauma profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-213
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Childhood trauma
  • betrayal trauma
  • latent profile analysis
  • mental health
  • trauma frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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