CitationStanton, Michael V.; Jones, Antwan; & Shahani, Disha (2022). Relationship among interpersonal stressors in adolescence, social support buffers, and obesity in adulthood 14 years later. Health Psychology.
AbstractObjective: Early life stress may be linked to adult obesity. Alternatively, social support can buffer the effects of stress. The study’s objective was to examine in a nationally representative sample, whether adolescent interpersonal and financial stress predict later obesity in adulthood and whether social support and social cohesion might buffer this effect. Method: The sample includes 6,504 participants across four waves in the Add Health dataset. Researchers created a structural equation model whereby latent measures of interpersonal stress and financial stress during adolescence were used to predict obesity (Body Mass Index, BMI ≥ 30) at Wave 4, 14 years later. Latent measures of social support and social cohesion were added to observe whether they buffered the effect of stress on adult BMI. Covariates included race/ethnicity, gender, self-rated health, smoking status, and age. Results: In an initial model of interpersonal and financial stressors and covariates predicting BMI, interpersonal stress (p p > .05) predicted adult BMI. In the full model including stressors, buffers and covariates, social support (p p = .038) negatively predicted adult BMI, and they covaried with interpersonal stress in opposing directions, buffering the effects of interpersonal stress on adult BMI. Conclusions: Stressful interpersonal life events in adolescence such as having family members in jail or being the victim of a crime are linked to adult obesity 14 years later. However, these stress effects are buffered by the effects of social support and social cohesion, which are linked to lower adult BMI. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleHealth Psychology
Author(s)Stanton, Michael V.