CitationWickrama, K. A. S.; Kwon, Josephine A.; Oshri, Assaf; & Lee, Tae Kyoung (2014). Early Socioeconomic Adversity and Young Adult Physical Illness: The Role of Body Mass Index and Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Adolescent Health. vol. 55 (4) pp. 556-63 , PMCID: PMC4175299
The present study investigated the psychophysiological inter- and intra-individual processes that mediate the linkage between childhood and/or adolescent socioeconomic adversities and adult health outcomes. Specifically, the proposed model examined the roles of youth depressive symptoms and body mass index (BMI) trajectories as mediators that explain the link between early adversity and young adults' general health and physical illnesses after controlling for gender, race or ethnicity, and earlier general health reports.
Using a nationally representative sample of 12,424 from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this study used growth curve modeling to consider both the severity (initial level) and the change over time (deterioration or elevation) as psychophysiological mediators, thereby acknowledging multiple facets of depressive symptoms and BMI trajectories as psychophysiological mediators of early adversity to adult health.
Results provide evidence for (1) the influence of early childhood and early adolescent cumulative socioeconomic adversity on both the initial levels and changes over time of depressive symptoms and BMI and (2) the independent influences depressive symptoms and BMI trajectories on the general health and the physical illnesses of young adults.
These findings contribute valuable knowledge to existing research by elucidating how early adversity exerts an enduring long-term influence on physical health problems in young adulthood; furthermore, this information suggests that effective intervention and prevention programs should incorporate multiple facets (severity and change over time) of multiple mechanisms (psychological and physiological).
Keyword(s)Early socioeconomic adversity
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Adolescent Health
Author(s)Wickrama, K. A. S.
Kwon, Josephine A.
Lee, Tae Kyoung