Erin C. Dunn
What life course theoretical models best explain the relationship between exposure to childhood adversity and psychopathology symptoms: Recency, accumulation, or sensitive periods?
Dunn, Erin C.; Soare, Thomas W.; Raffeld, Miriam R.; Busso, Daniel S.; Crawford, Katherine M.; Fisher, Virginia A.; Davis, Kathryn A.; Slopen, Natalie; Smith, Andrew D.A.C.; Tiemeier, Henning; Susser, Ezra S.
Thomas W. Soare
Miriam R. Raffeld
Daniel S. Busso
Katherine M. Crawford
Virginia A. Fisher
Kathryn A. Davis
Andrew Smith Andrew18.Smith@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Statistics
Ezra S. Susser
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018Â. Background Although childhood adversity is a potent determinant of psychopathology, relatively little is known about how the characteristics of adversity exposure, including its developmental timing or duration, influence subsequent mental health outcomes. This study compared three models from life course theory (recency, accumulation, sensitive period) to determine which one(s) best explained this relationship.Methods Prospective data came from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7476). Four adversities commonly linked to psychopathology (caregiver physical/emotional abuse; sexual/physical abuse; financial stress; parent legal problems) were measured repeatedly from birth to age 8. Using a statistical modeling approach grounded in least angle regression, we determined the theoretical model(s) explaining the most variability (r2) in psychopathology symptoms measured at age 8 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and evaluated the magnitude of each association.Results Recency was the best fitting theoretical model for the effect of physical/sexual abuse (girls r2 = 2.35%; boys r2 = 1.68%). Both recency (girls r2 = 1.55%) and accumulation (boys r2 = 1.71%) were the best fitting models for caregiver physical/emotional abuse. Sensitive period models were chosen alone (parent legal problems in boys r2 = 0.29%) and with accumulation (financial stress in girls r2 = 3.08%) more rarely. Substantial effect sizes were observed (standardized mean differences = 0.22-1.18).Conclusions Child psychopathology symptoms are primarily explained by recency and accumulation models. Evidence for sensitive periods did not emerge strongly in these data. These findings underscore the need to measure the characteristics of adversity, which can aid in understanding disease mechanisms and determining how best to reduce the consequences of exposure to adversity.
Dunn, E. C., Soare, T. W., Raffeld, M. R., Busso, D. S., Crawford, K. M., Fisher, V. A., …Susser, E. S. (2018). What life course theoretical models best explain the relationship between exposure to childhood adversity and psychopathology symptoms: Recency, accumulation, or sensitive periods?. Psychological Medicine, 48(15), 2562-2572. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000181
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Jan 11, 2018|
|Online Publication Date||Feb 26, 2018|
|Publication Date||Nov 1, 2018|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press (CUP)|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Additional Information||Additional Information : This article has been published in a revised form in Psychological Medicine [https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000181]. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. ©CUP.|