CONSEQUENSES OF CHILDHOOD ADVERSITY ON HEALTH CONCERNS IN ADULTHOOD by ProQuest

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									     CONSEQUENSES OF CHILDHOOD ADVERSITY ON HEALTH
                CONCERNS IN ADULTHOOD

                                     Grace A. Adejuwon (PhD)*
                                     Department of Psychology,
                                       University of Ibadan.
                                              Ibadan.

               This study investigated the extent to which
               childhood adversity experiences through parental
               divorce, death or separation, contributed to the
               health condition of adult Nigerian workers. 440
               respondents (mean age = 39.77, SD = 8.66),
               comprised of 228 males and 212 females,
               completed and returned the study questionnaire. Of
               this number 208 respondents (Males = 118,
               Females = 90) reported having experienced the loss
               of both or one of their parents before age 17.

               The analyses of the data showed that adults who
               experienced childhood adversity through parental
               loss, death or separation, scored significantly higher
               on measures of depression t (438) = -2.42, P < .05)
               and acute health problems t (438) = -2.14, P < .05)
               than adults who did not. Social/emotional support
               decreases with increase in age among those who
               reported childhood adversity ( r = - .105, p< .05) and
               levels of depression increases with decrease in
               social/emotional support ( r = -.194, p< .01). Both
               males and females who experienced childhood
               adversity have similar levels of depression, acute
               and chronic health. Childhood adversity contributed
               12% of the variance in depression at adulthood and
               10% of the acute health conditions of the adults.
               These findings indicate that a significant proportion
               of the population of working class adult Nigerians
               who experienced childhood adversity may be
               experiencing health problems.

                Conclusively, although the incidence of parental
               loss may seem inevitable, particularly death, it is
               important to have a better understanding of how
               parental loss in early childhood is linked with the
               health concerns in adulthood. Such knowledge
               would aid in the development of preventive

*
    E-mails: anuadejuwon@yahoo.com ; ga.adejuwon@mail.ui.ed
								
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