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Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 5, No. 3, 297-308 (1995)
DOI: 10.1177/104973159500500303
© 1995 SAGE Publications

View Article on Sage Journals Online

A History of Childhood Abuse as a Predictor Variable: Implications for Outcome Research

Thomas R. Holmes

Western Michigan University

This article reports on a clinical outcome study assessing the history of childhood abuse as a predictor variable for outcome research in clinical social work practice. Although this variable is widely viewed by clinicians as important in predicting the response of clients to treatment, little research has been done to test this assumption. This study assesses the effect of short-term treatment on depression and anxiety levels of 39 clients in a family service agency. The ANCOVA results indicated that for this treatment group, a history of childhood abuse was related to clients' response to treatment. A nonrandomized pretest-posttest design was used to compare the outcomes of clients with a history of childhood abuse with those without such a history. The results showed significant difference between the two groups on outcome levels of anxiety and depression. Implications for clinical research are discussed.