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Mid-life reversibility of early-established biobehavioral risk factors: a research agenda

Mid-life reversibility of early-established biobehavioral risk factors: a research agenda
Mid-life reversibility of early-established biobehavioral risk factors: a research agenda
Objectives: epidemiological evidence links exposure to early life adversities --such as childhood maltreatment-- with impaired health and wellbeing in adulthood. Since these effects are usually unrecognized or untreated in childhood, preventive and remediating interventions in adults are needed. We asked, first, can we validly ascertain childhood adversity through retrospective assessments in adulthood? Second, what dimensions of childhood adversity have consequences for adult health? Third, is there enough plasticity in adult behaviors and neural function in mid-life to allow for interventions?

Methods: supported by the National Institute on Aging, the UK Economic and Social and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Councils, a network of researchers in human and animal development addressed these questions through meetings and literature review.

Results: widely-used adult ascertainments of childhood adversity are poorly related to prospective ascertainment A small number of dimensions may adequately distinguish among a range of co-occurring childhood adversities and early childhood periods of sensitivity to environmental influence might be reopened in adulthood to favor preventive interventions.

Discussion: prospective animal and human research is clarifying targets for intervention to prevent ill health while subgroups of adults who believe they had adverse childhoods, whether or not that was the case, may require special intervention for effective treatment of established illness.
0012-1649
2203-2218
Reiss, David
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Nielsen, Lisabeth
001c2916-6d50-4ba9-9d4b-0f0cafdfca30
Godfrey, Keith
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McEwan, Bruce
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Power, Christine
5b553d54-1ee9-49c9-9df4-bd9107f53137
Seeman, Teresa
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Suomi, Stephen
8a1e1193-c141-42ce-b49b-e010f0f6c756
Reiss, David
4e9d3b24-c303-464c-9489-b42f5f43a607
Nielsen, Lisabeth
001c2916-6d50-4ba9-9d4b-0f0cafdfca30
Godfrey, Keith
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
McEwan, Bruce
36fcb623-0f0d-4cca-82a8-ba24a14d595e
Power, Christine
5b553d54-1ee9-49c9-9df4-bd9107f53137
Seeman, Teresa
9a772da0-983c-441a-87b3-878127ebe415
Suomi, Stephen
8a1e1193-c141-42ce-b49b-e010f0f6c756

Reiss, David, Nielsen, Lisabeth, Godfrey, Keith, McEwan, Bruce, Power, Christine, Seeman, Teresa and Suomi, Stephen (2019) Mid-life reversibility of early-established biobehavioral risk factors: a research agenda. Developmental Psychology, 55 (10), 2203-2218. (doi:10.1037/dev0000780).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: epidemiological evidence links exposure to early life adversities --such as childhood maltreatment-- with impaired health and wellbeing in adulthood. Since these effects are usually unrecognized or untreated in childhood, preventive and remediating interventions in adults are needed. We asked, first, can we validly ascertain childhood adversity through retrospective assessments in adulthood? Second, what dimensions of childhood adversity have consequences for adult health? Third, is there enough plasticity in adult behaviors and neural function in mid-life to allow for interventions?

Methods: supported by the National Institute on Aging, the UK Economic and Social and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Councils, a network of researchers in human and animal development addressed these questions through meetings and literature review.

Results: widely-used adult ascertainments of childhood adversity are poorly related to prospective ascertainment A small number of dimensions may adequately distinguish among a range of co-occurring childhood adversities and early childhood periods of sensitivity to environmental influence might be reopened in adulthood to favor preventive interventions.

Discussion: prospective animal and human research is clarifying targets for intervention to prevent ill health while subgroups of adults who believe they had adverse childhoods, whether or not that was the case, may require special intervention for effective treatment of established illness.

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Midlife reversiblity 6-6-18 FINAL - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 July 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 August 2019
Published date: October 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432683
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432683
ISSN: 0012-1649
PURE UUID: cc7e5890-2270-4094-956c-ca7792efc47e
ORCID for Keith Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618

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Date deposited: 24 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:35

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Contributors

Author: David Reiss
Author: Lisabeth Nielsen
Author: Keith Godfrey ORCID iD
Author: Bruce McEwan
Author: Christine Power
Author: Teresa Seeman
Author: Stephen Suomi

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