What is it about?

Using a longitudinal sample of African Americans, this study indicated that (a) childhood trauma was associated positively with adult cardiovascular disease risk, (b) the association remained significant when health-related covariates were controlled in the analyses, and (c) the association between childhood trauma and adult cardiovascular disease risk was mediated by the timing of pubertal maturation.

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Why is it important?

The resulting model supports using pubertal timing as a window on biological embedding processes, providing an evolutionary-development perspective on the emergence of long-term health outcomes.


We reported that the early social environment plays a main role in the timing of pubertal development because organisms are expected to trade off increased risk for future negative health outcomes in favor of early assumption of adult roles and possibly early successful reproduction. Further, early puberty development is related to adult health. It is the cost of childhood adversity and trauma.

Dr Man Kit Lei
University of Georgia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Childhood trauma, pubertal timing, and cardiovascular risk in adulthood., Health Psychology, July 2018, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/hea0000609.
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