van den Berk Clark, C. (2020). The role of impulsivity on health behavior related to cardiovascular disease among young adults. Psychol Trauma.
Background: There is a large body of research indicating that trauma increases risk for cardiovascular disease, but mechanisms that explain this relationship are not well understood. One potential explanation may be that trauma has been found to be associated with both impulsivity and dysfunctional health behaviors, which in turn lead to cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this article was to determine the pathway from trauma to impulsivity to health behaviors related to cardiovascular disease. Method: Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a large, longitudinal survey of adolescents starting in Grades 7-12, was analyzed. Structural equation modeling was used to determine pathways from adverse childhood events to 2 types of impulsivity (choice and risk-taking) to health behaviors related to cardiovascular disease. Results: Adverse childhood events is a predictor of both types of impulsivity and health behaviors. Findings have further indicated that both types of impulsivity also lead to more dysfunctional health behaviors related to cardiovascular disease. Conclusions: Impulsivity related to decision-making (tendency to favor smaller, short-term rewards over long-term, longer rewards) and to risk-taking (thrill and novelty seeking) are both affected by traumatic events, and both influence health behaviors. Clinicians should consider the range of strategies offered through behavioral economics to improve health in at-risk populations exposed to trauma. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
adverse childhood environment (ACE)
van den Berk Clark, C.