Associations between adverse childhood family environments and blood pressure differ between men and women

Autoři: Hannah M. C. Schreier aff001;  Emily J. Jones aff001;  Sibel Nayman aff002;  Joshua M. Smyth aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States of America aff001;  Department of Psychology, University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany aff002;  Center of Psychological Psychotherapy, Mannheim, Germany aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



It is unclear how adverse childhood family environments differentially impact adult health outcomes among men and women. This brief communication reports on the independent and joint effects of adverse childhood family environments and sex on indicators of health in adulthood.

Methods & Results

213 18-55-year olds reported on their childhood family environment (Risky Families Questionnaire (RFQ); Family Environment Scale (FEStotal)) and their current perceived stress and depressive and anxious affect. Resting systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and heart rate (HR) were taken during a laboratory visit, and total cortisol output was measured in saliva samples collected at home. Exposure to childhood adversity did not vary by sex. Women had lower SBP, DBP, and total cortisol output, but higher HR, than men (ps < .05). Sex moderated the association between childhood family environment and SBP (RFQ: B = -.316; SE = .120; p = .009; FEStotal: B = -.274; SE = .117; p = .021) and DBP (FEStotal: B = -.193; SE = .094; p = .041), such that exposure to greater childhood adversity was linked to lower BP in women only. Results were largely unchanged after adjusting for concurrent perceived stress and depressive and anxious affect. Separate effects of individual FES subscales are also discussed.


Contrary to expectations, exposure to adverse childhood family environments was associated with lower resting BP among women, perhaps indicative of basal cardiovascular hypoactivation, whereas early adversity was not linked to BP among men.

Klíčová slova:

Adults – Blood pressure – Cortisol – Depression – Heart rate – Human families – Child health – Psychological stress


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2019 Číslo 12
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