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Jon Pinon

SUPA Human Behavior
Ms. Schram
1. Raposa, Elizabeth B., Patricia A. Brennan, Constance L. Hammen, Frances
O'Callaghan, and Jake M. Najman. "Early Adversity and Health Outcomes in
Young Adulthood: The Role of Ongoing Stress." Health Psychology 33 (2014):
410-18. Web.
2. Negative attributes of early life, such as chaotic/abusive households and low
socioeconomic status, have been associated with adverse health outcomes later in
life. Similarly, several markers of disease and death can be traced back to these
adverse environments.
3. The objective was to examine prospective effects of exposure to stressful
conditions in early childhood on physical health in young adulthood. Additionally,
the researchers wished to explore continuing exposure to stressors in adolescence
as possible mechanisms of this relationship.
4. The design was that of an observational study, particularly a longitudinal survey,
to examine this relationship over an extended period of time.
5. The participants consisted of 705 mother-child pairs from a previous study
regarding childrens development through age 5. This was a community sample
that consisted of multiple children whose parents reported depressive symptoms,
making the sample a fairly representative one.
6. Mothers were asked to complete measures regarding factors such as parental
conflicts and economic status at four points in their childs life: their first prenatal
visit, 3-4 days after the childs birth, 6 months after birth, and at age 5. Additional
measures were completed when the children reached the ages of 15 and 20 (the
children would also fill out their own measures at this time). At and between each
of these points, the mothers also filled out regular questionnaires regarding similar
subjects as well as the mental state of the child.

7. The data showed a definitive correlation between early adversity and elevated
stress levels at ages 15-20, which in turn had both direct and indirect (via
depression) effects on health during this time.
8. The results showed that early adverse conditions have lasting implications on
physical health later in life, which is consistent with previous studies. The main
limitations of the study, despite its conceptual and methodological advantages,
include a lack of focus on several common adversity variables such as neglect, the
two physical health outcomes used in path model analyses not representing
directly observed markers of disease risk, and the fact that the community sample
was overselected for the presence of maternal depression. Future studies would
benefit from examining different ways in which adversities affect health, studying
biological pathways to these adversities and including potential biological
mechanisms in order to fill in the gaps left in this study.