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Psychosocial stressors in the home environment, obesity and socioemotional difficulties across the first decade of life: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study

Creese, Hanna-Marie; (2019) Psychosocial stressors in the home environment, obesity and socioemotional difficulties across the first decade of life: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

There are a lack of studies which jointly examine psychosocial stressors in the home environment, socioemotional difficulties and obesity during childhood. This study examined two potential pathways of growing up in households characterised by psychosocial stressors on children’s mental wellbeing and obesity across the first decade of life. First, the associations between psychosocial stressors, socioemotional difficulties and obesity were explored. Then, the patterning of socioemotional difficulties and BMI over time was examined. Using the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), cross-sectional and longitudinal logistic regression analysis was employed to analyse the associations for four family level psychosocial stressors (parental limiting longstanding illness, parental relationship change, parent-child conflict and maternal depression) with socioemotional difficulties and obesity at ages 3, 5, 7, and 11 years. All psychosocial stressors were associated with increased odds of socioemotional difficulties, but associations between psychosocial stressors and obesity were found only for stressors pertaining to parental health (parental limiting longstanding illness; parental relationship change; maternal depression; and parent-child conflict). A significant interaction was found for parent-child conflict by parental relationship status, with children in single-parent families, compared to two-parent families, more likely to have socioemotional difficulties after exposure to parent-child conflict. Finally, cross-lagged structural equation modelling was used to analyse the pathways between socioemotional difficulties and body-mass index (BMI) at ages 3, 5, 7, and 11 years, accounting for maternal and family characteristics and psychosocial stressors. For girls only, socioemotional difficulties and BMI were positively correlated in both directions from ages 7 to 11 years. Preadolescent girls with more socioemotional difficulties were more likely to have higher BMI’s and similarly, girls with higher BMI’s were more likely to have socioemotional difficulties. Policies tackling child health in the UK should take a comprehensive approach to understand the mechanisms which lead to socioemotional difficulties and childhood obesity.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Psychosocial stressors in the home environment, obesity and socioemotional difficulties across the first decade of life: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072394
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