Adverse childhood experiences, dispositional mindfulness, and adult health

Robert C. Whitaker, Tracy Dearth-Wesley, Rachel A. Gooze, Brandon D. Becker, Kathleen C. Gallagher, Bruce S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether greater dispositional mindfulness is associated with better adult health across a range of exposures to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Methods: In 2012, a web-based survey of 2160 Pennsylvania Head Start staff was conducted. We assessed ACE score (count of eight categories of childhood adversity), dispositional mindfulness (Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised), and the prevalence of three outcomes: multiple health conditions (≥. 3 of 7 conditions), poor health behavior (≥. 2 of 5 behaviors), and poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) (≥. 2 of 5 indicators). Results: Respondents were 97% females, and 23% reported ≥. 3 ACEs. The prevalences of multiple health conditions, poor health behavior, and poor HRQOL were 29%, 21%, and 13%, respectively. At each level of ACE exposure, health outcomes were better in those with greater mindfulness. For example, among persons reporting ≥. 3 ACEs, those in the highest quartile of mindfulness had a prevalence of multiple health conditions two-thirds that of those in the lowest quartile (adjusted prevalence ratio (95% confidence interval) = 0.66 (0.51, 0.86)); for those reporting no ACEs, the ratio was 0.62 (0.41, 0.94). Conclusion: Across a range of exposures to ACEs, greater dispositional mindfulness was associated with fewer health conditions, better health behavior, and better HRQOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

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Mindfulness
Health Behavior
Health
Quality of Life
Confidence Intervals

Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • Child maltreatment
  • Child neglect
  • Chronic disease
  • Health behavior
  • Mindfulness
  • Quality of life
  • Stress, psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Whitaker, R. C., Dearth-Wesley, T., Gooze, R. A., Becker, B. D., Gallagher, K. C., & McEwen, B. S. (2014). Adverse childhood experiences, dispositional mindfulness, and adult health. Preventive Medicine, 67, 147-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.07.029

Adverse childhood experiences, dispositional mindfulness, and adult health. / Whitaker, Robert C.; Dearth-Wesley, Tracy; Gooze, Rachel A.; Becker, Brandon D.; Gallagher, Kathleen C.; McEwen, Bruce S.

In: Preventive Medicine, Vol. 67, 10.2014, p. 147-153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Whitaker, RC, Dearth-Wesley, T, Gooze, RA, Becker, BD, Gallagher, KC & McEwen, BS 2014, 'Adverse childhood experiences, dispositional mindfulness, and adult health', Preventive Medicine, vol. 67, pp. 147-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.07.029
Whitaker, Robert C. ; Dearth-Wesley, Tracy ; Gooze, Rachel A. ; Becker, Brandon D. ; Gallagher, Kathleen C. ; McEwen, Bruce S. / Adverse childhood experiences, dispositional mindfulness, and adult health. In: Preventive Medicine. 2014 ; Vol. 67. pp. 147-153.
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