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University of Waterloo

1. Trossman, Rebecca. Do cognitive processes mediate the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and health related outcomes?.

Degree: 2019, University of Waterloo

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful life events that occur during development. It is well-established that ACE exposure has negative downstream implications for a broad range of health-related behaviors, ultimately hastening mortality. Underlying mechanisms linking the experience of early life adversity with poor health remain less understood, however, and thus potential targets for intervention remain elusive. This work seeks to fill an important theoretical gap in the ACE literature by evaluating whether executive function (EF) constitute a biologically-plausible mediating mechanism in this causal pathway. To do so, two separate studies were conducted. In Study 1, undergraduate students completed measures of ACE exposure, EF, health-risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, drug and alcohol use, unsafe sexual practices), and psychopathology (e.g., anxiety, depression). Multivariate modeling determined that executive dysfunction in daily life mediated the relationship between childhood adversity exposure and current mental health concerns. EF did not mediate the effect between ACEs and health-risk behaviours. Study 2 sought to replicate and extend this work by narrowing the focus of health-risk behaviours to those most relevant for an undergraduate population (i.e., risky alcohol-related behaviours), and incorporating behavioural measures of EF in addition to self-report questionnaires. EF difficulties in daily life, but not on in-lab tasks, mediated the relationship between ACEs and psychopathology symptoms. The relationship between ACEs and risky alcohol use was not mediated by EF. These results partially support a neurodevelopmental model of ACE exposure vis-à-vis future health, focusing on the role of EF.

Subjects/Keywords: adverse childhood experiences; executive function

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Trossman, R. (2019). Do cognitive processes mediate the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and health related outcomes?. (Thesis). University of Waterloo. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10012/14921

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Trossman, Rebecca. “Do cognitive processes mediate the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and health related outcomes?.” 2019. Thesis, University of Waterloo. Accessed September 21, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/14921.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Trossman, Rebecca. “Do cognitive processes mediate the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and health related outcomes?.” 2019. Web. 21 Sep 2019.

Vancouver:

Trossman R. Do cognitive processes mediate the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and health related outcomes?. [Internet] [Thesis]. University of Waterloo; 2019. [cited 2019 Sep 21]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10012/14921.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

Trossman R. Do cognitive processes mediate the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and health related outcomes?. [Thesis]. University of Waterloo; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10012/14921

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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