Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

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.

What life course theoretical models best explain the relationship between exposure to childhood adversity and psychopathology symptoms: Recency, accumulation, or sensitive periods? Thumbnail


Authors

Erin C. Dunn

Thomas W. Soare

Miriam R. Raffeld

Daniel S. Busso

Katherine M. Crawford

Virginia A. Fisher

Kathryn A. Davis

Natalie Slopen

Henning Tiemeier

Ezra S. Susser



Abstract

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.

Citation

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
Deposit Date Mar 8, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 26, 2018
Journal Psychological Medicine
Print ISSN 0033-2917
Electronic ISSN 1469-8978
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 15
Pages 2562-2572
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000181
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/856538
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000181
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.

Files





You might also like



Downloadable Citations