Adverse childhood experiences in relation to mood-, weight-, and eating-related outcomes in emerging adulthood: Does self-compassion play a buffering role?

Vivienne M. Hazzard, Cynthia Yoon, Rebecca L. Emery, Susan M. Mason, Ross D. Crosby, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with a range of health problems, yet protective factors such as self-compassion may help buffer these associations. Objective: This study examined associations of distinct patterns of ACEs with depressive symptoms, body mass index (BMI), and disordered eating symptoms and investigated self-compassion as a potential protective factor. Participants and Setting: Data from a diverse sample of 1440 emerging adults (Mage = 22.2 years; 53.7% female; 80.3% with race/ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white) came from the population-based EAT 2018 (Eating and Activity over Time) study. Methods: Seven types of ACEs were retrospectively self-reported and used as model indicators in latent class analysis to identify patterns of ACEs. Self-compassion, depressive symptoms, height and weight (to calculate BMI), and disordered eating symptoms were also assessed. Demographic-adjusted regression models were conducted. Results: Three latent classes emerged: “low ACEs” (66.5% of the sample), “household dysfunction” (24.3%), and “household dysfunction and abuse” (9.1%). Compared to participants in the “low ACEs” class, participants in either latent class involving household dysfunction demonstrated higher levels of depressive and disordered eating symptoms. Participants in the “household dysfunction and abuse” class also had higher BMI. Associations differed by self-compassion for depressive symptoms (pinteraction = 0.01), BMI (pinteraction = 0.03), and disordered eating symptoms (pinteraction = 0.005), such that associations for latent classes characterized by ACEs were weaker with higher levels of self-compassion. Conclusions: These findings suggest self-compassion may act as a buffer against adverse mood-, weight-, and eating-related outcomes in the face of adversity and therefore may be an important intervention target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105307
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume122
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection for the study was supported by Grant Numbers R01HL127077 and R35HL139853 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). Vivienne Hazzard's time was supported by Award Number T32MH082761 (PI: Scott Crow) from the National Institute of Mental Health. Cynthia Yoon's time was supported by Award Number T32DK083250 (PI: Robert W. Jeffery) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Rebecca Emery's time was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences under TL1 R002493 (PI: Fulkerson) and UL1 TR002494 (PI: Blazar). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health, or National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Funding Information:
Data collection for the study was supported by Grant Numbers R01HL127077 and R35HL139853 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). Vivienne Hazzard's time was supported by Award Number T32MH082761 (PI: Scott Crow) from the National Institute of Mental Health . Cynthia Yoon's time was supported by Award Number T32DK083250 (PI: Robert W. Jeffery) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Rebecca Emery's time was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences under TL1 R002493 (PI: Fulkerson) and UL1 TR002494 (PI: Blazar). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health, or National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Body mass index
  • Child abuse
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Self-compassion

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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