Comparing the impact of positive psychosocial resources on favorable cardiovascular health in young adulthood


Qureshi, Farah; Delaney, Scott; & Kubzansky, Laura D. (2018). Comparing the impact of positive psychosocial resources on favorable cardiovascular health in young adulthood. 2018 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Background: Prior work has found associations between positive psychosocial factors in childhood and favorable cardiovascular health (FCH) in adulthood. Most studies group diverse factors to assess cumulative impacts, but positive youth development literature suggests that internal assets (e.g. prosocial skills, positive identity) and external assets (e.g. family relationships) may exert different impacts. Therefore, this study aimed to examine whether youth internal and external assets independently and differentially predict FCH in young adulthood. Methods: Data came from 14,798 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Assets were measured via self-report at Wave 1 (mean age 15.6 years). Following prior work in Add Health, 29 items were used to derive separate indices for internal and external assets (range=0-5, each). FCH was assessed at Wave 4 (mean age 29.0 years) and defined as being healthy on 5 parameters following American Heart Association recommendations: no hyperlipidemia, diabetes, or high blood pressure, healthy body mass index (BMI), and non-smoking. Parameters were derived from direct measures of cholesterol, glucose, HbA1C, blood pressure, and BMI, and self-reported relevant diagnoses, medication use, and smoking history. The outcome in all analyses was a binary measure of FCH defined as meeting all 5 health metrics (yes/no). Standard covariates were assessed at Wave 1, and included socioeconomic factors and baseline health status. After multiply imputing missing covariate and predictor data, adjusted associations between assets and FCH were examined using logistic regression. Results: Total assets at Wave 1 predicted subsequent FCH (linear trend OR=1.08, p=0.005). When assets were disaggregated, internal assets maintained a strong association with FCH (linear trend OR=1.22, p=<0.001), while external assets did not (linear trend OR=0.95, p=0.3). Findings suggest youth assets are not equally protective, but intrapersonal factors may be particularly influential. Identifying the differential impact of internal and external assets is critical to the design of effective primordial prevention efforts.

Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2018 Add Health Users Conference


Qureshi, Farah
Delaney, Scott
Kubzansky, Laura D.

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID