Adolescent exposure to community violence and adulthood CRP: A stress process model


Reason, Max (2016). Adolescent exposure to community violence and adulthood CRP: A stress process model. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death in most of the developed world. Life course studies of health have shown that stressful life events and social conditions in early life are associated with worse CVD outcomes in adulthood. The Biological Embedding of Early Adult Adversity Model posits that these early stressors can 1) dysregulate and “reprogram” the body’s stress response system, leading to a consistent, heightened state of inflammation, and 2) predispose an individual to seek immediate rewards over long term benefits. Both of these mechanisms are associated heightened CVD mortality and morbidity. This study investigates the role of adolescent exposure to community violence (ECV) as a stressor that may impact CVD risk factors in early adulthood. These factors include both physical measures of stress and inflammation (C-reactive Protein and blood pressure) and negative heart health behaviors (smoking, fast food consumption, and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption). Waves I and IV of the Add Health study are used. Preliminary results show adolescent ECV is positively associated with all CVD risk measures in this study. However, after inclusion of demographic factors, personal and neighborhood SES, and measures of psychological health, only the CVD risk behaviors remained significantly correlated with adolescent ECV. These findings indicate that ECV can impact CVD risk through the adoption of negative health behaviors.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2016 Add Health Users Conference


Reason, Max

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID