Childhood maltreatment, subjective social status, and health disparities in bereavement

Michelle A. Chen, Ryan L. Brown, Jonathan Y. Chen, Marcel Alejandro de Dios, Charles E. Green, Cobi J. Heijnen, Christopher P. Fagundes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Spousal bereavement can lead to adverse health outcomes; however, not all widow(er)s experience the same degree of health problems. Thus, it is important to understand the contribution of disparities (e.g., childhood maltreatment and subjective social status) that may underlie adverse health outcomes that arise following bereavement. Methods: We collected data from 130 spousally bereaved individuals at 3-time points (3 months post-loss, 4 months post-loss, and 6 months post-loss). Using mixed models, we assessed the interaction of childhood maltreatment, subjective social status, and time to predict changes in proinflammatory cytokine production, depressive symptoms, grief symptoms. Results: We found a significant interaction between childhood maltreatment, subjective social status, and time predicting proinflammatory cytokine production (beta > −0.01, p = 0.048), depressive symptoms (beta = 0.008, p =.010), and grief symptoms (beta = 0.001 p =.001). Conclusion: This study highlights the role of disparities related to childhood maltreatment and subjective social status on adverse health outcomes following spousal bereavement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105595
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume135
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Bereavement
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Grief symptoms
  • Proinflammatory cytokine production
  • Subjective social status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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