Dimensions of Child Adversity and Health Risk Behaviors in Young Adulthood

Childhood adversity impacts both neurobiological and psychological development and is frequently found to be a strong predictor of adverse outcomes in adulthood, including risk behaviors such as interpersonal violence, alcohol problems, and sexual risk-taking. This training grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development will utilize longitudinal cohort data from Parenting Across Cultures and Young Lives. Together, these sources contain 17 waves of data among three cohorts, spanning childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood with participants from ten different countries.

The specific aims of this research are to: (1) Identify the elements of adversity in early and middle childhood and their related risk behavior outcomes in adolescence and young adulthood; (2) determine to what extent the relationships in Aim 1 are mediated by different indicators of cognitive functioning (inhibitory control, working memory, and declarative memory) and emotional regulation (affective decision-making); (3) determine to what extent the relationships between the elements of adversity in early and middle childhood and the indicators of cognitive functioning and emotional regulation are moderated by parenting behaviors and cultural norms of parenting; (4) understand the effects of the research cross-culturally and across different longitudinal data sets.