CitationKrushas, Amber E. & Schwartz, Joseph A. (2022). An Examination of the Components of Toxic Stress in Childhood and Biological Markers of Physical Health in Emerging Adulthood. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma. , PMCID: PMC8837736
AbstractExperiencing severe and enduring adversity in childhood without the support of adult figures has been linked to an extensive list of physical health outcomes. This finding is closely tied to the concept of toxic stress, which is regularly studied using a combination of sources, including childhood adversity, unmet basic needs, and unmet social needs. Despite these findings, previous work has typically compiled various sources associated with toxic stress into a single construct, limiting existing knowledge on the contribution of each individual source to physical health. To address these concerns, the current study utilizes data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to examine the association between independent and collective sources of toxic stress in childhood and individual differences in biomarkers tapping cardiometabolic functioning in emerging adulthood. Results indicate a significant association between a composite measure of sources of toxic stress and cardiometabolic risk, with subsequent models examining the independent influence of each source revealing that this association was largely driven by childhood adversity and unmet basic needs, but not unmet social needs. These findings suggest that the individual sources of toxic stress may differentially contribute to physical health outcomes.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
Author(s)Krushas, Amber E.
Schwartz, Joseph A.