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Childhood experiences of parenting and cancer risk at older ages: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

Demakakos, P; Chrousos, GP; Biddulph, JP; (2018) Childhood experiences of parenting and cancer risk at older ages: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). International Journal of Public Health , 63 pp. 823-832. 10.1007/s00038-018-1117-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: Despite the importance of childhood experiences for adult health and psychosocial factors for cancer development, parenting, a key childhood psychosocial exposure, has yet to be studied in relation to cancer risk at older ages. We examined whether childhood experiences of poor-quality parenting are associated with an increased risk of cancer at older ages. Methods: We used a sample of 4471 community dwellers aged ≥ 55 years in 2007. Poor-quality parenting was defined as low levels of parental care and high levels of parental overprotection. Results: Overall poorer experiences of parenting, decreasing parental care and increasing parental overprotection were associated with increased risk of incident all-site and skin cancer in men, but not in women. Increasing paternal overprotection was also associated with increased risk of incident colorectal cancer in men. Overall poorer experiences of parenting and increasing paternal overprotection were associated with increased risk of prevalent all-site and colorectal cancer in women. Adjustment for covariates explained a small part of these associations. Conclusions: Older adults who reported childhood experiences of poorer quality parenting appear to have an increased risk of cancer. These findings improve our understanding of the role of psychosocial factors in cancer over the life course.

Type: Article
Title: Childhood experiences of parenting and cancer risk at older ages: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00038-018-1117-3
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-018-1117-3
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Parenting, Cancer, Stress, Life course, Aging, Childhood, Cohort
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051059
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