Childhood socio-economic position and affective symptoms in adulthood: the role of neglect

Mawson, Anne and Gaysina, Darya (2021) Childhood socio-economic position and affective symptoms in adulthood: the role of neglect. Journal of Affective Disorders, 286. pp. 267-274. ISSN 0165-0327

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Download (259kB)


Background: Childhood neglect is more common within low-income families and can have long-term effects on mental health. Despite this, the extent to which it can mediate the well documented longitudinal inverse relationship between childhood socio-economic position (SEP) and adult affective symptoms is yet to be investigated.

Method: Data (9595 males and 8959 females) from participants of the National Child Development Study (NCDS) were used to investigate the extent to which prospectively measured neglect mediates the relationship between SEP (age 11) and affective symptoms (ages 23 and 50).

Results: Neglect partially mediated the relationship between childhood SEP and affective symptoms at ages 23 (b = -0.02, [-0.02, -0.02]) and 50 (b = -0.02, [-0.02, -0.01]), after controlling for other family-related adversities. In addition, gender moderated the direct effect of SEP on affective symptoms at both ages 23 (b = -0.06, t = -4.87, [-0.08, -0.03]) and 50 (b = -0.05, t = -3.86, [-0.07, -0.02]), with the relationship being stronger for females; but did not moderate the indirect effect of neglect at either age 23 (b = 0.01, t = 1.09 [-0.01, 0.02]) or 50 (b = 0.00, t = -0.60 [-0.02, 0.01]).

Conclusions: Neglect in childhood should be viewed as having serious implications for the mental health of both men and women. Greater investments into social support interventions that reduce incidences of neglect are also warranted.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Anxiety, Childhood adversity, Depression, Maltreatment, Poverty, Adult, Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, Affective Symptoms, Child, Child Abuse, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Poverty, Young Adult
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 16:44
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 16:45

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update