CitationCammack, A. L. & Suglia, S. F. (2022). Mentorship in adolescence and subsequent depression and adiposity among child maltreatment survivors in a United States nationally representative sample. Prev Med.
AbstractChild maltreatment (CM) is associated with multiple adverse health outcomes. Hence, there is a great need to identify factors that promote resilience in CM survivors. Mentorship may promote positive coping in CM survivors, but this may vary by health outcome and mentor/mentee characteristics. Among participants in a United States nationally representative sample, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, who retrospectively reported any CM before age 18 (sexual, emotional or physical, abuse or neglect; N = 3364), we examined associations between mentorship during adolescence and body mass index (BMI), obesity, and depressive symptoms at ages 24-32 (in 2008-2009). We utilized linear regression and predictive margins with complex sample weighting. Models were stratified by sex and race/ethnicity. Thirty-one percent and 40% of participants' most influential mentor was inside and outside the family, respectively, and 29% reported no mentor. Any mentorship was associated with decreased depressive symptoms in females (adjusted beta for any mentor = -0.78, 95% CI:-1.54,-0.02). By contrast, any mentorship was associated with increased adiposity, namely among Latinas (adjusted beta for BMI = 2.23, 95% CI:0.45,4.02, adjusted risk ratio for obesity = 1.42, 95% CI:1.03,1.97). The influence of mentorship in CM survivors is heterogeneous. While mentorship was associated with reduced psychopathology, it was also linked with worse physical health, underscoring that mentoring does not necessarily promote long-term resilience to physical health outcomes, particularly in minorities. A better understanding of how mentors influence specific mentee behaviors may be important in informing how mentors can promote better physical health and lower obesity risk among CM survivors.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitlePrev Med
Author(s)Cammack, A. L.
Suglia, S. F.