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The purpose of this study is to determine if there is an association between a variety of adverse childhood experiences and overweight and obesity. The adverse childhood experiences that will be examined include childhood abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), childhood neglect (physical, emotional), and household dysfunction (domestic violence, parental marital discord, and household members with a history of substance abuse, mental illness, and criminal behavior). Because this study will be performed at a military treatment facility, additional military unique experiences to include frequent residential mobility and parental deployment will also be examined.
Hypotheses/Research Questions: Overweight and obese young adults are more likely to report having experienced adverse childhood experiences and household dysfunction than their peers of normal weight. In addition, the more severely overweight or obese the patient, the more likely the patient is to report a higher number of previous adverse childhood experiences. Thus, there is a graded relationship between the severity of overweight/obesity and the number of adverse childhood experiences.
Previous studies have clearly demonstrated that there is an association between childhood adversities and a variety of eating and weight problems. The research can be extended by assessing the cumulative effects of adverse childhood experiences on the severity of overweight and obesity rather than focusing on individual categories of events. In addition, we can learn much by extending the research to include all overweight and obese patients, not just those who have a known underlying comorbid psychiatric disorder such as bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder.
Lastly, the research on obesity and adverse childhood experiences should be extended to include younger subjects because obesity is now a public health problem of epidemic proportion in the United States, and it is now affecting younger and younger individuals.
The study proposed in this protocol will accomplish the goals of 1) assessing the cumulative effects of adverse childhood experiences, 2) assessing the association of these events with varying degrees of overweight and obesity, and 3) assessing this association in a younger population than that previously examined.
Observational Model: Ecologic or Community, Time Perspective: Retrospective
Adolescent Medicine Clinic, Brooke Army Medical Center
Fort Sam Houston
Active, not recruiting
Brooke Army Medical Center
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:32:19-0400
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