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Childhood Abuse and Neglect as Risk Factors for Central Adiposity: A Test of Association and Mediation Pathways

Midei, Aimee J (2009) Childhood Abuse and Neglect as Risk Factors for Central Adiposity: A Test of Association and Mediation Pathways. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Childhood abuse and neglect are traumatic early-life stressors that may be risk factors for central adiposity. Our objective was to examine the association between childhood abuse/neglect and central adiposity and obesity in a sample of 311 women (106 Black, 205 White) from the Pittsburgh site of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). SWAN included a baseline measurement of women in midlife (mean age = 45.7) and 8 follow-up visits during which waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) were measured. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, given at visit 8, retrospectively assessed 5 domains of abuse and neglect in childhood and adolescence: emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; emotional and physical neglect. ANCOVAs were used to determine whether a history of any abuse/neglect, or each type of abuse or neglect, was associated with WC, controlling for age. Results showed that women with a history of any abuse/neglect had significantly higher WC at visit 8 than women with no abuse history (M = 90.8, SE = 1.2; M = 96.1, SE = 1.5; F(1, 308)= 7.7, p = .01). Of the specific types of abuse, only physical abuse was significantly related to WC at visit 8 (M = 91.7, SE = 1.0; M = 97.9, SE = 2.3; F(1,308)=6.2, p = .01)]. Analyses for the outcome of BMI showed similar results, with the addition of sexual abuse being important for obesity. Histories of any abuse/neglect, or specific types of abuse or neglect, were not associated with increased WC from baseline to visit 8 in the full sample. However, among normal-weight and overweight women, a history of any abuse/neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or physical neglect predicted increased WC over time. Additional mediation analyses showed that Trait Anger scores mediated some relationships between abuse/neglect and WC. This study suggests that traumatic early-life stressors are associated with adulthood body fat distribution, especially among normal-weight and overweight women. Supported by NIH/DHHS AG012546 and MHO59689. The content of this abstract is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIA, NIMH, or the NIH.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Midei, Aimee
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMatthews, Karen Amatthewska@upmc.eduXYOO
Committee MemberBromberger, Joyce Tbrombergerjt@upmc.eduJBROM
Committee MemberKamarck, Thomas Wtkam@pitt.eduTKAM
Date: 22 January 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 November 2008
Approval Date: 22 January 2009
Submission Date: 12 December 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: central adiposity; negative emotions; negative health behaviors; obesity; childhood abuse; childhood neglect
Other ID:, etd-12122008-114235
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:10
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:38


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