Early life stress: prevalence and its relationship to current emotional distress

Proposal details

Title: Early life stress: prevalence and its relationship to current emotional distress
Research Area(s): Emotion and Self Regulation
Background: Early life stress is now recognized as an important determinant of various forms of adult psychopathology, including substance abuse. However, there is little information regarding the international prevalence of specific types of early life stress and their relationship to adult emotional experience, including depression, anxiety and stress.
Aims: As a precursor to a grant submission to NIDA planned for this coming June, we are analyzing ELS data from the international BRC database. We are preparing a paper describing the prevalence of specific ELS experiences (ACES) and how they relate to adult emotional experience across nations involved in the BRC. We hypothesize that ELS prevalence will be significant, and will vary across countries. Greatest ELS severity will be evident in the United States, reflecting greater heterogeneity in this multi-cultural country. We also hypothesize that specific ELS events such as abuse will be most strongly associated with current emotional distress.
Method: This study will involve statistical analysis of existing BRC data, including measures of ELS, the DASS, and certain cognitive and demographic measures. We currently have the most recent data set, so at this point, we are simply registering the study for purposes of the BRC.