High rates of alcohol use and history of physical and sexual abuse among women outpatients

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1991;17(1):49-60. doi: 10.3109/00952999108992809.


A total of 189 consecutive new women patients were surveyed at an adult psychiatric outpatient clinic which did not have a specific program for the treatment of alcoholics. Twenty-seven patients (14%) reported a history of heavy alcohol consumption measured by scores of 10 or more on the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), but only 16 had a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence made by a clinician. Those with a self-reported history of physical and/or sexual abuse had significantly higher scores on the MAST than those with no such history. When the first abuse occurred before the age of 18 years and there was no recent reported abuse, the association of abuse and high MAST scores persisted, suggesting that early physical or sexual abuse may be associated with current levels of alcohol use.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Child Abuse / rehabilitation
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / rehabilitation
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Personality Development*
  • Personality Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment