Matching Items (16)

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Exposure to maternal distress in childhood and cortisol activity in young adulthood

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Dysregulated cortisol is a risk factor for poor health outcomes. Children of distressed mothers exhibit dysregulated cortisol, yet it is unclear whether maternal distress predicts cortisol activity in later developmental stages. This longitudinal study examined the prospective relation between maternal

Dysregulated cortisol is a risk factor for poor health outcomes. Children of distressed mothers exhibit dysregulated cortisol, yet it is unclear whether maternal distress predicts cortisol activity in later developmental stages. This longitudinal study examined the prospective relation between maternal distress during late childhood (9–12 years) and adolescence (15–19 years) and cortisol response in offspring in young adulthood (24–28 years). Data were collected from 51 recently divorced mothers and their children across 15 years. Higher maternal distress during late childhood was associated with lower total cortisol independent of levels of maternal distress in adolescence or young adulthood. Maternal distress during adolescence marginally predicted blunted cortisol when distress in childhood was low. Findings suggest that blunted cortisol activity in young adulthood may be a long-term consequence of exposure to maternal distress earlier in development.

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Date Created
2014-11-01

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The impact of childhood family adversity on nighttime change in blood pressure

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Adverse childhood family environments have been found to have long-term effects on a child's well-being. Although no prior studies have examined the direct effects of childhood family adversities on nighttime blood pressure (BP) dip, parental death and divorce in childhood,

Adverse childhood family environments have been found to have long-term effects on a child's well-being. Although no prior studies have examined the direct effects of childhood family adversities on nighttime blood pressure (BP) dip, parental death and divorce in childhood, have been associated with a variety of related psychological problems in adulthood. The current study examined the direct effects of parental death and divorce in childhood and quality of early family relationships on adult nighttime BP dip as well as the mediating role of three psychosocial factors (depression, hostility and social stress). One hundred and forty-three young adults were asked to complete self-reported measures of the three psychosocial factors and quality of family relationships. Study participants wore an ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitor over a 24-hr period in order to assess nocturnal BP dip. Although neither childhood family adversity nor quality of childhood family relationships directly predicted nighttime BP dipping, quality of early family relationships predicted all three psychosocial factors, and hostility was found to mediate the relationship between quality of childhood family relationships and nighttime systolic BP dip. Early family experiences play an important role in influencing nighttime cardiovascular functioning by influencing an individual's psychological functioning in young adulthood. Because nighttime non-dipping has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and other serious health conditions, the results of the present study have important clinical implications and provide specific psychosocial pathways that may be targeted in future programs designed to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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The effects of father involvement in adolescence on cortisol reactivity in young adulthood: the mediating role of perceived mattering

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Research suggests that early family relationships have critical influences on later physical and psychological health, but most studies have focused on the influence of mothers ignoring the unique impacts of fathers. One mechanism by which families may transmit risk is

Research suggests that early family relationships have critical influences on later physical and psychological health, but most studies have focused on the influence of mothers ignoring the unique impacts of fathers. One mechanism by which families may transmit risk is by repeated activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the short-term that leads to adult neurobiological dysregulaton, evident in hyper- or hypo-cortisol levels. Using 218 father-child dyads from the Parent and Youth Study (PAYS), the current study investigated whether father involvement in adolescence predicted youth cortisol AUCg and reactivity to a stress task in young adulthood, and whether this relation was mediated by youth perceptions of mattering to their fathers in adolescence. Results revealed that higher father-reported father involvement predicted lower cortisol AUCg in youth when mattering was included in the model, although father involvement was not a statistically significant predictor of AUCg or cortisol reactivity when mattering was not included. Additionally, children who reported higher father involvement also reported higher feelings of mattering, but this association was only statistically significant for girls and European American youth. Youth feelings of mattering did not predict their cortisol reactivity or AUCg in young adulthood. Results suggest that future research should include fathers when investigating the effects of family relationships on youth psychophysiological development.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Temperament as a moderator of the relation between interparental conflict and maladjustment in children from divorced families

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ABSTRACT

This cross-sectional study examined whether the temperament dimensions of negative emotionality, positive emotionality, and impulsivity moderated the relation between interparental conflict and children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. The sample consisted of 355 divorced mothers and their children (9-12 years old)

ABSTRACT

This cross-sectional study examined whether the temperament dimensions of negative emotionality, positive emotionality, and impulsivity moderated the relation between interparental conflict and children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. The sample consisted of 355 divorced mothers and their children (9-12 years old) who participated in a randomized controlled trial of a preventive parenting intervention for divorcing families. Children provided reports of their experiences of interparental conflict and internalizing and externalizing problems; mothers provided reports of children’s temperament and internalizing and externalizing problems. The relations were examined separately for child report and mother report of outcomes using multiple regression analyses. Results found no support for the interactive effect of interparental conflict and temperament dimensions on children’s internalizing or externalizing problems. Consistent with an additive model of their effects, interparental conflict and temperament dimensions were directly and independently related to the outcomes. There was a significant, positive effect of interparental conflict and negative emotionality on children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. Positive emotionality was significantly, negatively related to internalizing and externalizing problems. Impulsivity was significantly, positively related to externalizing problems only. The patterns of results varied somewhat across mother and child report of interparental conflict on externalizing problems and positive emotionality on internalizing problems. The results of this study are consistent with the previous research on the significant main effects of interparental conflict and temperament dimensions on children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. These findings suggest that children’s environment and intrapersonal characteristics, represented by children’s experiences of interparental conflict and temperament, both uniquely contribute to children’s post-divorce internalizing and externalizing problems.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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Lesbian and gay parenting: a parental needs assessment and a mixed-methods analysis of discrimination parenting and coping strategies

Description

Although it has been established that children raised by lesbian and gay (LG) parents are comparable in psychological adjustment to those raised by heterosexuals, there are unique stressors that these families must face as members of a social minority group.

Although it has been established that children raised by lesbian and gay (LG) parents are comparable in psychological adjustment to those raised by heterosexuals, there are unique stressors that these families must face as members of a social minority group. For example, chronic exposure to stigma and discrimination has been associated with several poor psychological and behavioral outcomes in children, as well as high levels of stress experienced by LG parents. Thus, the current study sought to examine LG parents' coping actions and parenting strategies as used during and after an act of antigay discrimination which also involved their children, or as these involved an act which their children witnessed. This study also sought to define the parenting needs of LG parents. The research plan utilized an integrative mixed methods approach to examine the qualitative text narratives of 43 LG parents (29 mothers and 14 fathers) ranging in age from 28-56 years old with school-aged children (6-12 years). Results revealed that LG parents' negative emotion-based coping actions predicted higher depressive symptoms (β= .41,t(33) = 3.17, p < .01), LG parents' avoidant/escape coping actions predicted lower parenting self-agency (β = -.34, t(33) = -2.23, p < .05), and LG parents' engagement in understanding and coping with discrimination parenting strategies predicted lower post-traumatic stress problems in their children (β = -.33, t(33) = -1.96, yp = .059). Last, a family needs assessment survey was used to determine the unique parenting needs of these LG parents. The results of this survey indicated that LG parents endorsed the following three topic areas as most important to them: (a) LG Family Community Services, (b) Information about Child Development, and (c) Explaining LG Family to Others. These findings reinforce existing knowledge in terms of the effects of discrimination on LG parents and their children. Indeed, results indicate the importance of providing LG parents with adaptive discrimination coping and parenting strategies, as well as offering valuable information concerning their specific needs.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Behavioral and subjective participant responsiveness to a manualized preventive intervention

Description

The effects of preventive interventions are found to be related to participants' responsiveness to the program, or the degree to which participants attend sessions, engage in the material, and use the program skills. The current study proposes a multi-dimensional method

The effects of preventive interventions are found to be related to participants' responsiveness to the program, or the degree to which participants attend sessions, engage in the material, and use the program skills. The current study proposes a multi-dimensional method for measuring responsiveness to the Family Bereavement Program (FBP), a parenting-focused program to prevent mental health problems for children who experienced the death of a parent. It examines the relations between individual-level risk-factors and responsiveness to the program, as well as the relations between responsiveness and program outcomes. The sample consists of 90 caregivers and 135 children assigned to the intervention condition of an efficacy trial of the FBP. Caregivers' responsiveness to the 12-week program was measured using a number of indicators, including attendance, completion of weekly "homework" assignments, overall program skill use, perceived helpfulness of the program and program skills, and perceived group environment. Three underlying dimensions of responsiveness were identified: Skill Use, Program Liking, and Perceived Group Environment. Positive parenting and child externalizing problems at baseline were found to predict caregiver Skill Use. Skill Use and Perceived Group Environment predicted changes in caregiver grief and reports of child behavior problems at posttest and 11-month follow-up. Caregivers with better Skill Use had better positive parenting outcomes. Skill use mediated the relation between baseline positive parenting and improvements in positive parenting at 11-month follow-up.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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Maternal depression and stress response: the effect on offspring in emerging adulthood

Description

Dysregulated cortisol has been linked to a variety of adverse physical and psychological consequences. Stressors in the childhood family environment can influence cortisol activity throughout development. For example, research has shown that both infants and children of depressed mothers exhibit

Dysregulated cortisol has been linked to a variety of adverse physical and psychological consequences. Stressors in the childhood family environment can influence cortisol activity throughout development. For example, research has shown that both infants and children of depressed mothers exhibit altered levels of cortisol compared to infants and children of non-depressed mothers. It is unclear, however, whether exposure to maternal depression in childhood and adolescence is related to cortisol activity at later stages of development. The current study examined the longitudinal relation between maternal depressive symptoms during late childhood (9-12 years old) and adolescence (15-19 years old) and cortisol activity in offspring in young adulthood (24- 28 years old) in a sample of 40 young adults and their mothers. Maternal depressive symptoms were prospectively assessed at four time points across the 15 year study. Cortisol samples were collected from young adult offspring at the final time point. Findings revealed that higher levels of maternal depressive symptoms during late childhood were associated with lower total cortisol output in young adulthood. Results suggest that attenuated cortisol levels, which put these young adults at risk for a variety of stress-related physical and psychological illnesses, may be a long-term consequence of exposure to maternal depression,. Depressive symptoms in mothers during their child's adolescence, however, did not relate to cortisol output. These findings suggest a sensitive period in late childhood during which the development of HPA activity may be susceptible to the environmental stressor of maternal depression.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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Children's coping efforts and coping efficacy: effects of parenting, surgency, and effortful control

Description

Stress responses play a central role in the development of psychopathology. Coping efforts, one subset of stress responses, have been shown to influence the relations between stress and adjustment. Although the relations between youths' coping and emotional and

Stress responses play a central role in the development of psychopathology. Coping efforts, one subset of stress responses, have been shown to influence the relations between stress and adjustment. Although the relations between youths' coping and emotional and behavioral outcomes are well-documented, less is known about the factors that predict youths' coping. Given their importance for adaptation, understanding influences on youths' coping has important implications for developmental theories and preventive interventions. The current study examined the main and interactive effects of positive parenting and youths' temperament on youths' coping efforts and coping efficacy one year later in a sample of 192 youth aged 9-15 years when assessed initially. Data used were from the first and third waves of a four-wave, prospective, longitudinal study of families where one or both parents recently became unemployed. Positive parenting was measured with a combination of mother-report, child-report, and observational measures. Temperament was assessed with mother-report, child-report, and/or teacher-report measures. Children reported on their coping. It was hypothesized that positive parenting, effortful control, and surgency would be positively associated with active coping and coping efficacy, and negatively associated with avoidant coping. Further, it was hypothesized that the relations between positive parenting and youths' coping would be stronger for youths low in effortful control or surgency. Structural equation modeling with latent variables revealed no significant main effects of positive parenting, effortful control, or surgency on youths' coping efforts or coping efficacy. Path analyses revealed no significant positive parenting by temperament interactions in the prediction of youths' coping efforts or coping efficacy. Several significant correlations between measures of positive parenting or surgency and youths' coping emerged. The pattern of correlations provided some support for the hypothesized relations. For example, aspects of positive parenting (e.g., maternal acceptance) and youth surgency were associated with more adaptive coping both concurrently and longitudinally, whereas an aspect of negative parenting (i.e., maternal rejection) was associated with less adaptive coping both concurrently and over time. Potential explanations of the unexpected findings and future directions for understanding the role of parenting and youths' temperament in youths' coping efforts and coping efficacy are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
2010

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A prospective study of childhood negative events, temperament, adolescent coping, and stress reactivity in young adulthood

Description

Accumulating evidence implicates exposure to adverse childhood experiences in the development of hypocortisolism in the long-term, and researchers are increasingly examining individual-level mechanisms that may underlie, exacerbate or attenuate this relation among at-risk populations. The current study takes a developmentally

Accumulating evidence implicates exposure to adverse childhood experiences in the development of hypocortisolism in the long-term, and researchers are increasingly examining individual-level mechanisms that may underlie, exacerbate or attenuate this relation among at-risk populations. The current study takes a developmentally and theoretically informed approach to examining episodic childhood stressors, inherent and voluntary self-regulation, and physiological reactivity among a longitudinal sample of youth who experienced parental divorce. Participants were drawn from a larger randomized controlled trial of a preventive intervention for children of divorce between the ages of 9 and 12. The current sample included 159 young adults (mean age = 25.5 years; 53% male; 94% Caucasian) who participated in six waves of data collection, including a 15-year follow-up study. Participants reported on exposure to negative life events (four times over a 9-month period) during childhood, and mothers rated child temperament. Six years later, youth reported on the use of active and avoidant coping strategies, and 15 years later, they participated in a standardized psychosocial stress task and provided salivary cortisol samples prior to and following the task. Path analyses within a structural equation framework revealed that a multiple mediation model best fit the data. It was found that children with better mother-rated self-regulation (i.e. low impulsivity, low negative emotionality, and high attentional focus) exhibited lower total cortisol output 15 years later. In addition, greater self-regulation in childhood predicted greater use of active coping in adolescence, whereas a greater number of negative life events predicted increased use of avoidant coping in adolescence. Finally, a greater number of negative events in childhood predicted marginally lower total cortisol output, and higher levels of active coping in adolescence were associated with greater total cortisol output in young adulthood. Findings suggest that children of divorce who exhibit better self-regulation evidence lower cortisol output during a standardized psychosocial stress task relative to those who have higher impulsivity, lower attentional focus, and/or higher negative emotionality. The conceptual significance of the current findings, including the lack of evidence for hypothesized relations, methodological issues that arose, and issues in need of future research are discussed.

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Date Created
2013

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Understanding the influence of romantic relationship seriousness on adolescent binge drinking and drinking consequences

Description

Although substantial research has examined individual, family, and peer factors that contribute to predicting adolescent alcohol use, limited attention has been devoted to the unique role of romantic partners and little consideration has been given to the potential importance of

Although substantial research has examined individual, family, and peer factors that contribute to predicting adolescent alcohol use, limited attention has been devoted to the unique role of romantic partners and little consideration has been given to the potential importance of romantic relationship seriousness. Data from Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) were used to assess the relation between romantic relationship seriousness and binge drinking and drinking consequences one year later among 14-18 year-olds (n= 928 adolescents; 54.1% female). Main effects of relationship seriousness and moderating effects of adolescent age, partner age, adolescent age by partner age, parental alcoholism, and gender were examined separately for each drinking outcome using zero-inflated Poisson regression (ZIP) models. Relationship seriousness and study covariate interactions were also examined. ZIP models estimate (a) a logistic regression that distinguishes between individuals whose values can only be zero on the outcome (i.e., a structural zero class) and individuals with count values ranging from zero to any other positive integer (i.e., a non-structural zero class), and (b) a Poisson regression predicting count values among the non-structural zero class. Results showed trends towards significance for relations between relationship seriousness and binge drinking and drinking consequences among non-structural zero classes. As hypothesized, increased relationship seriousness predicted less frequent binge drinking and fewer drinking consequences. The relation between relationship seriousness and binge drinking was moderated by peer alcohol use; the negative relation between relationship seriousness and binge drinking frequency was significant among adolescents who reported 0-2, but not 3, close friends who drink. The relation between relationship seriousness and number of drinking consequences was moderated by gender, adolescent delinquency (covariate), peer alcohol use (covariate), and Wave I drinking consequences (control variable). Specifically, a significant relation between relationship seriousness and number of drinking consequences was revealed only for females and only for adolescents who reported high consequences at Wave I, and was significant among adolescents who reported 0-2 close friends who drink and low delinquency. Results indicate that relationship seriousness can protect adolescents in terms of drinking outcomes, which could have implications for prevention efforts.

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Created

Date Created
2016