Behavioral, cognitive, and socioemotional pathways from early childhood adversity to BMI: Evidence from two prospective, longitudinal studies

Jenalee R. Doom, Ethan S. Young, Allison K. Farrell, Glenn I. Roisman, Jeffry A. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Childhood adversity is associated with higher adult weight, but few investigations prospectively test mechanisms accounting for this association. Using two socioeconomically high-risk prospective longitudinal investigations, the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (MLSRA; N = 267; 45.3% female) and the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS; n = 2,587; 48.5% female), pathways between childhood adversity and later body mass index (BMI) were tested using impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and overeating as mediators. Childhood adversity from 0 to 5 years included four types of adversities: greater unpredictability, threat/abuse, deprivation/neglect, and low socioeconomic status. Parents reported on child impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and overeating. Height and weight were self-reported and measured at 32 and 37 years in MLSRA and at 15 years in FFCWS. FFCWS results indicated that threat, deprivation, and low socioeconomic status predicted greater impulsivity and emotion dysregulation at 5 years, which in turn predicted greater overeating at 9 years and higher BMI z-score at 15 years. Early unpredictability in FFCWS predicted higher BMI through greater impulsivity but not emotion dysregulation at age 5. MLSRA regression results replicated the threat/abuse → emotion dysregulation → overeating → higher BMI pathway. These findings suggest that different dimensions of early adversity may follow both similar and unique pathways to predict BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-765
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2023

Keywords

  • BMI
  • adversity
  • early childhood
  • emotion dysregulation
  • impulsivity
  • overeating

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Behavioral, cognitive, and socioemotional pathways from early childhood adversity to BMI: Evidence from two prospective, longitudinal studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this