Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Does striving to succeed come at a physiological or psychosocial cost for adults who experienced child maltreatment?

  • Jenalee R. Doom (a1), Vivienne M. Hazzard (a1), Katherine W. Bauer (a1), Cari Jo Clark (a2) and Alison L. Miller (a1)...
Abstract

While striving to succeed in the face of adversity may provide individuals with outward benefits, it may come at a cost to individuals’ physical health. The current study examines whether striving predicts greater physiological or psychosocial costs among those who experienced child maltreatment, a stressor that disrupts the caregiving environment and threatens relationship security. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we tested whether greater striving after childhood maltreatment would come at a cost, increasing underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and depressive symptoms despite showing outward success via income and college degree attainment. The study included 13,341 Black, Hispanic, and White adolescents who self-reported striving and their experiences of childhood neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. As young adults, participants reported depressive symptoms, income, and college degree attainment and completed a health assessment from which a 30-year Framingham-based CVD risk score was calculated. Higher striving was associated with lower CVD risk and depressive symptoms, and higher income and college degree attainment, regardless of maltreatment history. These findings highlight the potential for striving as a target for interventions and support the need to examine multiple biological and behavioral outcomes to understand the multifaceted nature of resilience.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jenalee R. Doom, Center for Human Growth & Development, University of Michigan, North Ingalls Building, 300 North Ingalls Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; E-mail: jrdoom@umich.edu.
Footnotes
Hide All

This research uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by Grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website (http://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth). No direct support was received from Grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis. NICHD National Research Service Award F32HD088029 supported Jenalee R. Doom.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Adler, N. E., & Newman, K. (2002). Socioeconomic disparities in health: Pathways and policies. Health Affairs, 21, 6076. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.21.2.60
Anda, R. F., Dong, M., Brown, D. W., Felitti, V. J., Giles, W. H., Perry, G. S., … Dube, S. R. (2009). The relationship of adverse childhood experiences to a history of premature death of family members. BMC Public Health, 9, 106. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-106
Barnett, D., Manly, J. T., & Cicchetti, D. (1993). Defining child maltreatment: The interface between policy and research. Child Abuse, Child Development, and Social Policy, 8, 773. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.12.003
Bauer, D. J., & Curran, P. J. (2005). Probing interactions in fixed and multilevel regression: Inferential and graphical techniques. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 40, 373400. doi:10.1207/s15327906mbr4003_5
Bennett, G. G., Merritt, M. M., Sollers, J. J. III, Edwards, C. L., Whitfield, K. E., Brandon, D. T., & Tucker, R. D. (2004). Stress, coping, and health outcomes among African-Americans: A review of the John Henryism hypothesis. Psychology & Health, 19, 369383. doi:10.1080/0887044042000193505
Berry, J. D., Liu, K., Folsom, A. R., Lewis, C. E., Carr, J. J., Polak, J. F., … Chan, C. (2009). Prevalence and progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in younger adults with low short-term but high lifetime estimated risk for cardiovascular disease. Circulation, 119, 382389. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.108.800235
Bonham, V. L., Sellers, S. L., & Neighbors, H. W. (2004). John Henryism and self-reported physical health among high-socioeconomic status African American men. American Journal of Public Health, 94, 737738. doi:10.2105/AJPH.94.5.737
Brody, G. H., Kogan, S. M., & Grange, C. M. (2012). Translating longitudinal, developmental research with rural African American families into prevention programs for rural African American youth. In King, R. B. & Maholmes, V. (Eds.). The Oxford handbook of poverty and child development (pp. 553570). New York: Oxford University Press.
Brody, G. H., Yu, T., Chen, E., Miller, G. E., Kogan, S. M., & Beach, S. R. (2013). Is resilience only skin deep? Rural African Americans’ socioeconomic status–related risk and competence in preadolescence and psychological adjustment and allostatic load at age 19. Psychological Science, 24, 12851293. doi:10.177/0956797612471954
Brody, G. H., Yu, T., Miller, G. E., & Chen, E. (2016). Resilience in adolescence, health, and psychosocial outcomes. Pediatrics, 138, e20161042. doi.10.1542/peds.2016-1042
Brondolo, E., Gallo, L. C., & Myers, H. F. (2009). Race, racism and health: Disparities, mechanisms, and interventions. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 18. doi:10.1007/s10865-008-9190-3
Chantala, K., & Tabor, J. (1999). National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health: Strategies to perform a design-based analysis using the Add Health data. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.
Cicchetti, D. (2013). Annual research review: Resilient functioning in maltreated children—Past, present, and future perspectives. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 402422. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02608.x
Cicchetti, D., & Curtis, W. (2006). The developing brain and neural plasticity: Implications for normality, psychopathology, and resilience. In Cicchetti, D. & Cohen, D. J. (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Cicchetti, D., & Garmezy, N. (1993). Prospects and promises in the study of resilience. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 497502. doi:10.1017/S0954579400006118
Cicchetti, D., & Rogosch, F. A. (1997). The role of self-organization in the promotion of resilience in maltreated children. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 797815.
Cicchetti, D., & Rogosch, F. A. (2009). Adaptive coping under conditions of extreme stress: Multilevel influences on the determinants of resilience in maltreated children. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 124, 4759. doi:10.1002/cd.242
Cicchetti, D., & Tucker, D. (1994). Development and self-regulatory structures of the mind. Development and Psychopathology, 6, 533549. doi:10.1017/S0954579400004673
Cicchetti, D., & Valentino, K. (2006). An ecological-transactional perspective on child maltreatment: Failure of the average expectable environment and its influence on child development. Developmental Psychopathology, 3, 129201. doi:10.1002/9780470939406.ch4
Coie, J. D., Watt, N. F., West, S. G., Hawkins, J. D., Asarnow, J. R., Markman, H. J., … Long, B. (1993). The science of prevention: A conceptual framework and some directions for a national research program. American Psychologist, 48, 10131022. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.48.10.1013
Dong, M., Giles, W. H., Felitti, V. J., Dube, S. R., Williams, J. E., Chapman, D. P., & Anda, R. F. (2004). Insights into causal pathways for ischemic heart disease. Circulation, 110, 17611766. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000143074.54995.7F
Doom, J. R., & Gunnar, M. R. (2013). Stress physiology and developmental psychopathology: Past, present and future. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 13591373. doi:10.1017/s0954579413000667
Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 1087. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.6.1087
Dumont, M., & Provost, M. A. (1999). Resilience in adolescents: Protective role of social support, coping strategies, self-esteem, and social activities on experience of stress and depression. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28, 343363. doi:10.1023/A:1021637011732
Egeland, B., Carlson, E., & Sroufe, L. A. (1993). Resilience as process. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 517528. doi:10.1017/S0954579400006131
Entzel, P., Whitsel, E. A., Richardson, A., Tabor, J., Hallquist, S., Hussey, J., … Harris, K. M. (2009). Cardiovascular and anthropometric measures. Retrieved from http://www.cpcuncedu:projects:addhealth:data:guides:Wave%2520IV%2520cardiovascular%2520and%2520anthropometric%2520documentation%2520110209pdf
Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D. F., Spitz, A. M., Edwards, V., … Marks, J. S. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14, 245258. doi:10.1016/S0749-3797(98)00017-8
Geronimus, A. T., Hicken, M., Keene, D., & Bound, J. (2006). “Weathering” and age patterns of allostatic load scores among blacks and whites in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 96, 826833. doi:10.2105/ajph.2004.060749
Gidding, S. S., McMahan, C. A., McGill, H. C., Colangelo, L. A., Schreiner, P. J., Williams, O. D., & Liu, K. (2006). Prediction of coronary artery calcium in young adults using the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) risk score: The CARDIA study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 23412347. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.21.2341
Gilbert, R., Widom, C. S., Browne, K., Fergusson, D., Webb, E., & Janson, S. (2009). Burden and consequences of child maltreatment in high-income countries. Lancet, 373, 6881. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61706-7
Haritatos, J., Mahalingam, R., & James, S. A. (2007). John Henryism, self-reported physical health indicators, and the mediating role of perceived stress among high socio-economic status Asian immigrants. Social Science & Medicine, 64, 11921203. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.10.037
Hayes, A. F., & Matthes, J. (2009). Computational procedures for probing interactions in OLS and logistic regression: SPSS and SAS implementations. Behavior Research Methods, 41, 924936. doi:10.3758/BRM.41.3.924
Heidenreich, P. A., Trogdon, J. G., Khavjou, O. A., Butler, J., Dracup, K., Ezekowitz, M. D., … Khera, A. (2011). Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States. Circulation, 123, 933944. doi:10.1161/CIR.0b013e31820a55f5
Hoyert, D. L., & Xu, J. (2012). Deaths: Preliminary data for 2011. National Vital Statistics Reports, 61, 151.
Hussey, J. M., Chang, J. J., & Kotch, J. B. (2006). Child maltreatment in the United States: Prevalence, risk factors, and adolescent health consequences. Pediatrics, 118, 933942. doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2452
James, S. A. (1994). John Henryism and the health of African-Americans. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 18, 163182. doi:10.1007/BF01379448
James, S. A., Keenan, N. L., Strogatz, D. S., Browning, S. R., & Garrett, J. M. (1992). Socioeconomic status, John Henryism, and blood pressure in black adults. The Pitt County Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 135, 5967. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116202
James, S. A., Strogatz, D. S., Wing, S. B., & Ramsey, D. L. (1987). Socioeconomic status, John Henryism, and hypertension in blacks and whites. American Journal of Epidemiology, 126, 664673. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a114706
Kannel, W. B., Feinleib, M., McNamara, P. M., Garrison, R. J., & Castelli, W. P. (1979). An investigation of coronary heart disease in families the Framingham offspring study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 110, 281290.
Kaplan, H. B. (1999). Toward an understanding of resilience. In Glantz, M. D. & Johnson, J. R. (Eds.), Resilience and development: Positive life adaptations (pp. 1783). New York: Plenum Press.
Kubzansky, L. D., Sparrow, D., Vokonas, P., & Kawachi, I. (2001). Is the glass half empty or half full? A prospective study of optimism and coronary heart disease in the normative aging study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 910916. doi:10.1097/00006842-200111000-00009
Laing, S. T., Smulevitz, B., Vatcheva, K. P., Rentfro, A. R., McPherson, D. D., Fisher-Hoch, S. P., & McCormick, J. B. (2012). High prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis by carotid ultrasound among Mexican Americans: Discordance with 10-year risk assessment using the Framingham Risk Score. Echocardiography, 29, 12241232. doi:10.1111/j.1540-8175.2012.01774.x
Loria, C. M., Liu, K., Lewis, C. E., Hulley, S. B., Sidney, S., Schreiner, P. J., … Detrano, R. (2007). Early adult risk factor levels and subsequent coronary artery calcification: The CARDIA Study. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 49, 20132020. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2007.03.009
Luthar, S. S. (1991). Vulnerability and resilience: A study of high-risk adolescents. Child Development, 62, 600616. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1991.tb01555.x
Luthar, S. S., & Cicchetti, D. (2000). The construct of resilience: Implications for interventions and social policies. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 857885. doi:10.1017/S0954579400004156
Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development, 71, 543562. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00164
Luthar, S. S., Doernberger, C. H., & Zigler, E. (1993). Resilience is not a unidimensional construct: Insights from a prospective study of inner-city adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 703717. doi:10.1017/S0954579400006246
MacMillan, H. L., Fleming, J. E., Streiner, D. L., Lin, E., Boyle, M. H., Jamieson, E., … Beardslee, W. R. (2001). Childhood abuse and lifetime psychopathology in a community sample. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 18781883. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.158.11.1878
Masten, A. S. (2014). Global perspectives on resilience in children and youth. Child Development, 85, 620. doi:10.1111/cdev.12205
Masten, A. S., Best, K. M., & Garmezy, N. (1990). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425444. doi:10.1017/S0954579400005812
Masten, A. S., & Cicchetti, D. (2010). Developmental cascades. Development and Psychopathology, 22, 491495. doi:10.1017/S0954579410000222
Masten, A. S., & Tellegen, A. (2012). Resilience in developmental psychopathology: Contributions of the project competence longitudinal study. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 345361. doi:10.1017/S095457941200003X
Miller, G. E., Chen, E., & Parker, K. J. (2011). Psychological stress in childhood and susceptibility to the chronic diseases of aging: Moving towards a model of behavioral and biological mechanisms. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 959997. doi:10.1037/a0024768
Miller, G. E., Yu, T., Chen, E., & Brody, G. H. (2015). Self-control forecasts better psychosocial outcomes but faster epigenetic aging in low-SES youth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 1032510330. doi:10.1073/pnas.1505063112
Mozaffarian, D., Benjamin, E. J., Go, A. S., Arnett, D. K., Blaha, M. J., Cushman, M., … Fullerton, H. J. (2016). Executive summary: Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 133, 447. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000366
O'Dougherty-Wright, M., Masten, A. S., & Hubbard, J. J. (1997). Long-term effects of massive trauma: Developmental and psychobiological perspectives. In Cicchetti, D. & Toth, S. L., (Eds.), Rochester Symposium on Developmental Psychopathology: Vol. 8. Developmental perspectives on trauma (pp. 181225). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.
Pencina, M. J., D'Agostino, R. B., Larson, M. G., Massaro, J. M., & Vasan, R. S. (2009). Predicting the 30-year risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation, 119, 30783084. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.108.816694
Primack, B. A., Swanier, B., Georgiopoulos, A. M., Land, S. R., & Fine, M. J. (2009). Association between media use in adolescence and depression in young adulthood: A longitudinal study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66, 181188. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2008.532
Rutter, M. (2012). Resilience as a dynamic concept. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 335344. doi:10.1017/S0954579412000028
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 6878. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68
Steinberg, L. (2008). A social neuroscience perspective on adolescent risk-taking. Developmental Review, 28, 78106. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2007.08.002
Steinberg, L., Graham, S., O'Brien, L., Woolard, J., Cauffman, E., & Banich, M. (2009). Age differences in future orientation and delay discounting. Child Development, 80, 2844. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01244.x
Subramanyam, M. A., James, S. A., Diez-Roux, A. V., Hickson, D. A., Sarpong, D., Sims, M., … Wyatt, S. B. (2013). Socioeconomic status, John Henryism and blood pressure among African-Americans in the Jackson Heart Study. Social Science & Medicine, 93, 139146. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.06.016
Tabor, J., & Whitsel, E. (2010). Add Health Wave IV documentation: Precription medication use. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.
Toth, S. L., Gravener-Davis, J. A., Guild, D. J., & Cicchetti, D. (2013). Relational interventions for child maltreatment: Past, present, and future perspectives. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 16011617. doi:10.1017/S0954579413000795
Uchino, B. N. (2006). Social support and health: A review of physiological processes potentially underlying links to disease outcomes. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29, 377387. doi:10.1007/s10865-006-9056-5
Vachon, D. D., Krueger, R. F., Rogosch, F. A., & Cicchetti, D. (2015). Assessment of the harmful psychiatric and behavioral effects of different forms of child maltreatment. JAMA Psychiatry, 72, 11351142. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1792
Waddington, C. H. (1957). The strategy of the genes: A discussion of some aspects of theoretical biology. London: Allen & Unwin.
Walsemann, K. M., Bell, B. A., & Goosby, B. J. (2011). Effect of school racial composition on trajectories of depressive symptoms from adolescence through early adulthood. Race and Social Problems, 3, 131145. doi:10.1007/s12552-011-9053-3
Watson, J. M., Logan, H. L., & Tomar, S. L. (2008). The influence of active coping and perceived stress on health disparities in a multi-ethnic low income sample. BMC Public Health, 8, 41. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-41
Whitsel, E. A., Tabor, J. W., Nguyen, Q. C., Cuthbertson, C. C., Wener, M. H., Potter, A. J., … Mullan Harris, K. (2012). Add Health Wave IV: Documentation report measures of glucose homeostasis. Retrieved from http://www.cpc.unc.edu/projects/addhealth/data/guides/Glucose_HbA1c.pdf
Zimmerman, M. A. (2000). Empowerment theory. In Rappaport, J. & Seidman, E. (Eds.), Handbook of community psychology (pp. 4363). Boston: Springer.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed