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Cohort study
Cumulative adversity in early childhood is associated with increased BMI and behavioural problems
  1. Judith A Crowell
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Judith A Crowell, Department of Psychiatry, Putnam Hall-South Campus, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA; judith.crowell{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Mental health problems and obesity are significant outcomes for children experiencing adversity in early life.

  • Behavioural outcomes and body mass index (BMI) are more consistently reported for children experiencing adversity in early life compared with blood pressure (BP).

  • Incomplete data due to drop out over time and a reliance on parental reporting are challenges for large longitudinal studies; future research directions include balancing and testing such investigations with smaller in-depth studies.


Slopen and colleagues’ study adds to a growing body of research examining the impact of adverse and traumatic childhood experiences on adult physical health.1 While childhood adversity has been convincingly implicated in the development of obesity and metabolic dysfunction, the sensitive period in which children may be particularly susceptible to the impact of adversity or …

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  • Competing interests None.