Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Robert R. Althoff

Abstract

Extant literature suggests that experiences of childhood adversity put individuals at increased risk for deleterious emotional-behavioral and metabolic outcomes. However, the precise mechanisms through which early adversity confers risk for such outcomes remains poorly understood. Therefore, this project sought to examine the extent to which Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia reactivity (RSA-R), a metric of Parasympathetic Nervous System functioning, influences the relationship between adversity exposure and metrics of emotional-behavioral and metabolic health during childhood. Based on prior literature, we hypothesized that RSA-R would significantly moderate the association between exposure to childhood adversity and both emotional-behavioral and metabolic health. This hypothesis was partially supported. Indeed, RSA-R interacted with experiences of childhood adversity to predict internalizing symptoms and metabolic dysfunction. The implications of these findings and directions for future research will be discussed.

Language

en

Number of Pages

109 p.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Included in

Psychology Commons

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