Association of childhood adversities and home atmosphere with functioning in old age : the Helsinki birth cohort study
von Bonsdorff, M., Kokko, K., Salonen, M., von Bonsdorff, M., Poranen-Clark, T., Alastalo, H., . . . Eriksson, J. G. (2019). Association of childhood adversities and home atmosphere with functioning in old age : the Helsinki birth cohort study. Age and Ageing, 48 (1), 80-86. doi:10.1093/ageing/afy153
Published inAge and Ageing
© The Authors, 2018.
Objective childhood adversities have been linked with adverse health outcomes, but less is known about the long-term consequences of childhood home atmosphere. We investigated whether childhood adversities and home atmosphere were associated with physical and mental functioning in older age. Methods in the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study 2003, participants born in the year 1934–44 had data available on nine childhood home atmosphere items, e.g. whether it was supportive and warm (sum score ranged between 0 and 36, higher score indicating better atmosphere), and nine childhood adversities, e.g. unemployment and divorce (sum score 0–9, coded into no; one; and two or more adversities) assessed in 2001–04. Of those, 835 had data on physical and mental functioning assessed using the Short Form 36 questionnaire in 2011–13. Results those who had experienced two or more childhood adversities were more likely to have poorer physical and mental functioning in older age compared to those with no adversities. A better home atmosphere score was associated with better mental functioning (per one unit higher score β 0.24, 95% CI 0.16–0.32, P < 0.001). In models including both childhood adversities and home atmosphere, a more favourable home atmosphere was associated with better mental functioning while the association for childhood adversities attenuated. There were no associations between childhood adversities or home atmosphere and physical functioning in the models that included both childhood exposures. Conclusions childhood adversities and home atmosphere have long-term associations with physical and mental functioning in older age. ...
PublisherOxford University Press
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