The proposed study tests the hypothesis that relationship qualities in adolescence ultimately have substantial implications for two important domains of adult physical health: cardiovascular health and metabolic functioning. We address these questions using repeated assessments with multi-reporter, multi-method data from a demographically diverse final sample of 172 individuals followed from age 13 to 32. We focus on two key social relationship pathways that we hypothesize to have substantial long-term physical health ramifications: 1. from the adolescent struggle to establish autonomy adaptively when negotiating disagreements to hostile conflict in future relationships;and, 2. from failure to establish supportive social connections in family and peer relationships to future social isolation We will pursue the following aims:
Aim 1 : Direct Prediction of Adult Health Indicators from Adolescent Relationship Characteristics We begin with the most basic, yet important epidemiological task of seeking to identify adolescent relational qualities that may directly predict substantial future risks for long-term health difficulties.
Aim 2 : Intervening Psychosocia Mediators of Links from Adolescence to Adult Health - After identifying key adolescent psychosocial risk factors, we next examine the hypothesized intervening pathways that may explain these risks and can thus suggest further potential arenas for intervention. To properly temporally assess these mediated pathways, we assess direct predictions from adolescence to adult social functioning and cross-lagged predictions between social functioning and health outcomes in adulthood.
Aim 3 : The Role of Temporal and Contextual Effects - We next seek to distinguish the long-term effects of chronic vs. intermittent social functioning difficulties (e.g. are there lingering effects when a prior pattern of social isolation or hostile conflict eventually resolves?) as well as considering the mediating and moderating roles of key contextual transitions and demographic factors.
Aim 4 : Interplay of Relational Functioning, Mental Health, and Physical Health - Finally, we assess the interplay of social functioning and mental health in predicting physical health outcomes both from adolescence to adulthood and within adulthood, considering both unique and conjoint effects of relational factors and mental health symptoms as they work together to predict health outcomes. Overall, the proposed study has the potential: a. to open up an entirely new arena for potential screening tools and preventive interventions to improve lifelong health outcomes and suggest specific relational characteristics to target;b. to provide guidance to parents, educators, and clinicians seeking to distinguish transient adolescent relationship difficulties from difficulties with greatest long-term import for health;ad c. to dramatically advance developing theories of the link between adolescent social relationship qualities and major health outcomes into this critical, relatively unexplored portion of the lifespan.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal follows a unique sample from age 13 to 32 to examine adolescent peer and family experiences as long-term predictors of key physical health outcomes in adulthood. The project has strong relevance to public health in that it will allow us to identify adolescent-era roots of key outcomes in adulthood ranging from cardiovascular disease processes to indicators of risk for metabolic illness. Results are expected: a. to identify an entire new arena for potential interventions to improve lifelong health outcomes and suggest specific relational characteristics to target;b. to provide guidance to parents, educators, and clinicians seeking to distinguish transient adolescent relationship difficulties from difficulties ith greatest long-term import;and c. to dramatically advance developing theories of the link between adolescent social relationship qualities and major health outcomes into this critical, relatively unexplored portion of the lifespan.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
2R01HD058305-17A1
Application #
8494306
Study Section
Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
Program Officer
Esposito, Layla E
Project Start
2008-07-10
Project End
2018-06-30
Budget Start
2013-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
17
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$569,332
Indirect Cost
$193,286
Name
University of Virginia
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
065391526
City
Charlottesville
State
VA
Country
United States
Zip Code
22904
Szwedo, David E; Chango, Joanna M; Allen, Joseph P (2015) Adolescent romance and depressive symptoms: the moderating effects of positive coping and perceived friendship competence. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 44:538-50
Oudekerk, Barbara A; Allen, Joseph P; Hessel, Elenda T et al. (2015) The cascading development of autonomy and relatedness from adolescence to adulthood. Child Dev 86:472-85
Allen, Joseph P; Chango, Joanna; Szwedo, David et al. (2014) Long-term sequelae of subclinical depressive symptoms in early adolescence. Dev Psychopathol 26:171-80
Oudekerk, Barbara A; Allen, Joseph P; Hafen, Christopher A et al. (2014) Maternal and Paternal Psychological Control as Moderators of the Link between Peer Attitudes and Adolescents' Risky Sexual Behavior. J Early Adolesc 34:413-435
Allen, Joseph P; Chango, Joanna; Szwedo, David (2014) The adolescent relational dialectic and the peer roots of adult social functioning. Child Dev 85:192-204
Hafen, Christopher A; Spilker, Ann; Chango, Joanna et al. (2014) To Accept or Reject? The Impact of Adolescent Rejection Sensitivity on Early Adult Romantic Relationships. J Res Adolesc 24:55-64
Allen, Joseph P; Schad, Megan M; Oudekerk, Barbara et al. (2014) What ever happened to the "cool" kids? Long-term sequelae of early adolescent pseudomature behavior. Child Dev 85:1866-80
Dawson, Anne E; Allen, Joseph P; Marston, Emily G et al. (2014) Adolescent insecure attachment as a predictor of maladaptive coping and externalizing behaviors in emerging adulthood. Attach Hum Dev 16:462-78
Hafen, Christopher A; Laursen, Brett; Nurmi, Jari-Eri et al. (2013) Bullies, victims, and antipathy: the feeling is mutual. J Abnorm Child Psychol 41:801-9
Hafen, Christopher A; Allen, Joseph P; Mikami, Amori Yee et al. (2012) The pivotal role of adolescent autonomy in secondary school classrooms. J Youth Adolesc 41:245-55

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