Demography of Health and Aging Seminar- Christina Kamis

The Long-Term Impact of Childhood Adversity on Mental Health Trajectories in Adulthood

    Date:  10/07/2021 (Thu)

    Time:  3:30pm- 5:00pm

    Location:  This seminar will be held remotely via Zoom. (Please sign in to see the link.)

    Organizer:  Scott Lynch

Meeting Schedule: (Not currently open for scheduling. Please contact the seminar organizer listed above.)

    All meetings will be held in the same location as the seminar unless otherwise noted.

    3:30pm - Seminar Presentation (3:30pm to 5:00pm)

    Additional Comments:  The life course perspective has long theorized that adversity in childhood, a sensitive period for mental, physical, and emotional development, can have long-lasting impacts on health and wellbeing. However, research on the long-term impact of childhood adversity has been disproportionally focused on studying a single adversity, or studying cumulative adversity operationalized as the sum of dichotomous (yes/no) indicators reflecting exposure to negative events. Although informative, these approaches mask how specific types of adversities co-occur, and how unique configurations of adversities relate to outcomes of interest. Using nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health; Wave I-IV), I estimate cumulative adversity using latent class analyses. As opposed to a summative score, these classes reflect both the type and number of adverse events that may co-occur in childhood. I then investigate how these latent classes of adversity predict depressive symptoms from adolescence into early adulthood, clarifying the long-term mental health risks of early life adverse events. Throughout this study, I discuss the methodological benefits and challenges to estimating cumulative adversity using a latent class approach.