Child abuse is a significant public-health problem with 794,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. in 2007. The Centers For Disease Control's Adverse Childhood Experiences studies have documented this link quite clearly. It is a risk factor for a number of different problems including alcohol abuse, but less is known about this link in boys than in girls.
Researchers from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles studied 3,527 men aged between 17 and 56. Approximately 9% of the participants reported childhood maltreatment - defined as serious neglect or physical or sexual abuse occurring before the age of 15. Those who had been abused were 74% more likely to develop an alcohol problem.
Young-Wolff, K.C. ... [et al] - Accounting for the association between childhood maltreatment and alcohol-use disorders in males: a twin study Psychological Medicine (2011), 41, 59–70