Publications by authors named "Carolyn Cutrona"

51 Publications

The Impact of Distal Influences and Proximal Resources on the Mental Health of African American Older Adults: Findings From the Georgia Centenarian Study.

Innov Aging 2020 18;4(5):igaa046. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Institute of Gerontology, University of Georgia, Athens.

Background And Objectives: Over the years, a large amount of research has been devoted to the investigation of factors that led to mental health outcomes in older adults. For African American older adults, their lived experiences place them at high risk for mental health problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of early life influences (i.e., education, childhood life events, and childhood financial well-being) and present psychosocial resources (i.e., individual, financial, and social) on current mental health outcomes in a sample of African American older adults in their 60s, 80s, and 100s.

Research Design And Methods: Using data from the Georgia Centenarian Study, 125 participants were interviewed about their mental health, resources, and early life influences.

Results: A structural equation model was tested and resulted in a good fit. Results indicated that the more social resources African American older adults had available, the lower the number of depressive symptoms they reported. African Americans with higher levels of financial well-being during childhood reported higher self-rated mental health. Older adults had higher levels of financial resources. Level of education showed a positive relationship with financial resources. Indirect effects of distal influences on health outcomes via current resources were not found.

Discussion And Implications: The findings are of direct practical relevance and can be used to more readily identify older African Americans who may be susceptible to poorer mental health outcomes based upon the impact of their unique distal and proximal psychosocial resources.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igaa046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7653441PMC
September 2020

Perceived relationship support moderates the association of contextual stress with inflammation among African Americans.

J Fam Psychol 2019 Apr 11;33(3):338-348. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa.

We followed 402 African American young adults from ages 24 to 29, a period of emerging committed relationships, to examine the association of contextual stress (CS), for example, experiences of financial strain, victimization, and racial discrimination, with inflammation, and to test predictions that greater perceived relationship warmth and support (PRWS) at age 29 would moderate the association between earlier CS and inflammation, using a multiplex assessment of cytokines to construct an index of the ratio between predominantly proinflammatory cytokines versus predominantly anti-inflammatory cytokines. CS experienced at age 24 was associated with greater inflammation at age 29 in the full sample (b = .112, p = .004). PRWS at age 29 moderated the association of earlier CS with inflammation (b = -.114, p = .011), but there was no significant main effect of PRWS (b = -.053, p = .265). Finally, using an internal moderator approach, we compared the association of CS with inflammation among those not in a committed relationship to those in more or less supportive relationships, showing a significant and stronger association of CS with inflammation for those with low PRWS (-1 SD; b = .182, p < .001), a weaker and nonsignificant association of CS with inflammation among those with higher PRWS (+1 SD; b = -.002, p = .975), and an intermediate and nonsignificant association of CS with inflammation among those with no committed romantic relationship (b = .077, p = .227). Results were robust to number of cytokines included in the inflammation index. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000509DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685221PMC
April 2019

Family health and income: A two-sample replication.

J Fam Psychol 2018 08 12;32(5):632-642. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Department of Psychology.

The current study examined psychological and family health predictors of change over time in household income, using data from longitudinal studies of African American ( = 889, 93.5% female) and Mexican origin ( = 674, 100% female) families. Participants self-reported their household income, as well as their emotional, personality, and cognitive resources. Participant behavioral and physical resources were coded from observed family interactions. Although income did not predict change in any personal resources, all five classes of personal resources (i.e., emotional, personality, cognitive, behavioral, physical) predicted change in income across a 10-year span (Study 1) and a 6-year span (Study 2). Income is potentially caused by these personal resources, or both income and these personal resources share a common cause. The dominant approach of assuming income causes personal and family health needs stronger support. (PsycINFO Database Record
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000424DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6072564PMC
August 2018

Neighborhood racial discrimination and the development of major depression.

J Abnorm Psychol 2018 02;127(2):150-159

Veterinary Medicine Administration, Iowa State University.

This study examined the impact of neighborhood racial discrimination on the development of major depressive disorder (MDD) in a sample of African American women. Participants were 499 women from Georgia and Iowa with no history of MDD who were followed for 9 to 11 years. Several neighborhood characteristics (community social disorder, community cohesion, and community racism) and individual characteristics (negative life events, financial strain, personal outlook, religious involvement, relationship quality, negative affectivity, and individual experiences of racism) were employed as predictors of whether or not the women met criteria for MDD during this period of time. In a multilevel logistic regression analysis, neighborhood-level discrimination as well as individual-level variables including the number of negative life events, financial strain, and negative affectivity were found to be significant predictors of developing MDD. Analyses of cross-level interactions indicated that the effects of neighborhood-level discrimination were moderated by the quality of individuals' relationships, such that better relationships with others served to lessen the effect of neighborhood discrimination on depression. Implications of these findings for understanding the negative effects of racial discrimination are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/abn0000336DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5854205PMC
February 2018

United and Divided by Stress: How Stressors Differentially Influence Social Support in African American Couples Over Time.

Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2017 Jul 6;43(7):1050-1064. Epub 2017 May 6.

1 Iowa State University, Ames, USA.

The factors that allow people to be good support providers in relationships are not fully understood. We examined how support providers' stressful experiences (financial strain and racial discrimination) differentially influence their supportiveness, using longitudinal data from two samples of African American couples. Among couples that provided observational data ( N = 163 couples), providers who experienced high chronic financial strain behaved less supportively toward their partners, while those who experienced frequent racial discrimination behaved more supportively over a 2-year period. In a second sample of 213 couples over a 3-year period, support providers who experienced financial strain were perceived by their partners as slightly less supportive, while providers who experienced frequent racial discrimination were perceived by their partners as more supportive. Findings suggest that supportiveness in relationships may be differentially shaped by the specific stresses and strains that partners face.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167217704195DOI Listing
July 2017

Autonomy promotion, responsiveness, and emotion regulation promote effective social support in times of stress.

Curr Opin Psychol 2017 Feb 18;13:126-130. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, USA.

Adult attachment theory provides guidance for providing optimal social support in intimate relationships. According to attachment theory, facilitating autonomy (secure base support) sometimes is more important than providing nurturance (safe haven support). In addition, it is important that couples celebrate one another's triumphs and successes (another form of secure base support). A key construct that explains the development of attachment is responsiveness to the individual's needs. Support that is delivered in a responsive manner (i.e., that leads the individual to feel understood, validated, and cared for) is more likely to enhance the relationship and less likely to damage self-esteem than assistance that is not responsive. A responsive exchange is more likely if emotion dysregulation can be prevented. Attachment theory offers explanations for why people vary in their effectiveness at emotion regulation. Appropriate emotion regulation is more likely if disclosures of current difficulties can be made in a way that is not defensive or accusatory, an ability that varies as a function of attachment orientation. Attachment theory also offers guidance regarding the optimal forms of social support for specific individuals. All these insights from adult attachment theory can be integrated into interventions to help couples become more effective support providers.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.07.002DOI Listing
February 2017

Black Women's Recommendations for Developing Effective Type 2 Diabetes Programming.

Glob Qual Nurs Res 2017 Jan-Dec;4:2333393617715335. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Iowa State University, Ames, USA.

The purpose of this study was to learn from 29 Black women how to develop effective Type 2 diabetes programming. Three focus groups were held in Des Moines, Iowa, during fall 2012. Results highlighted themes related to diabetes knowledge, diabetes management and prevention, physical activity, diet, and diabetes management programming. Opinions were shared as to whether family members should be included in programs for supporting those diagnosed with diabetes. These results provided guidance and ideas to scholars and health care professionals aiming to improve effectiveness of diabetes programs for Black women and families.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2333393617715335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5484429PMC
June 2017

Moderation of the effects of discrimination-induced affective responses on health outcomes.

Psychol Health 2018 02 23;33(2):193-212. Epub 2017 Apr 23.

d Department of Psychology , The George Washington University , Washington , DC , USA.

Objective: The goal of the study was to examine differential mediation of long-term effects of discrimination on health behaviour and health status by internalising (anxiety and depression) and externalising (hostility and anger), and to explore moderation of these effects, specifically, by the presence of support networks and coping tendencies.

Design: The current analyses employed structural equation modelling of five waves of data from Black female participants of the Family and Community Health Study over 11 years (M age 37-48).

Main Outcomes Measures: The main outcome variables were health status and alcohol use (frequency and problematic consumption).

Results: Perceived racial discrimination was associated with increases in internalising and externalising. In addition, internalising reactions to discrimination were associated with deterioration in health status and increases in problematic drinking; externalising reactions were associated with increases in frequency of drinking. These relations were attenuated by availability of support networks, and exacerbated by use of avoidance coping.

Conclusion: The current study (a) replicated previous research suggesting that two different types of affective reactions mediate the relations between perceived racial discrimination and physical health status vs. health-impairing behaviours: internalising and externalising, and (b) revealed moderation of these effects by coping mechanisms.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2017.1314479DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6145071PMC
February 2018

An index of the ratio of inflammatory to antiviral cell types mediates the effects of social adversity and age on chronic illness.

Soc Sci Med 2017 07 27;185:158-165. Epub 2017 Mar 27.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, 2-126B Medical Education Building, Iowa City, IA 52242, United States.

Background: It is assumed that both social stress and chronological age increase the risk of chronic illness, in part, through their effect on systemic inflammation. Unfortunately, observational studies usually employ single-marker measures of inflammation (e.g., Interleukin-6, C-reactive protein) that preclude strong tests for mediational effects.

Objective: The present study investigated the extent to which the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage and age on onset of chronic illness is mediated by dominance of the innate (inflammatory) over the acquired (antiviral) components of the immune system.

Methods: We assessed inflammation using the ratio of inflammatory to antiviral cell types (ITACT Ratio). This approach provided a stronger test of evolutionary arguments regarding the effect of social stress on chronic inflammation than is the case with cytokine measures, and afforded an opportunity to replicate findings obtained utilizing mRNA. We used structural equation modeling and longitudinal data from a sample of 100 middle-age African American women to perform our analyses.

Results: Dominance of inflammatory over antiviral cell activity was associated with each of the eight illnesses included in our chronic illness measure. Both socioeconomic disadvantage and age were also associated with inflammatory dominance. Pursuant to the central focus of the study, the effects of socioeconomic adversity and age on increased illness were mediated by our measure of inflammatory dominance. The indirect effect of these variables through inflammatory cell profile was significant, with neither socioeconomic disadvantage nor age showing a significant association with illness once the impact of inflammatory cell profile was taken into account.

Conclusions: First, the analysis provides preliminary validation of a new measure of inflammation that is calculated based on the ratio of inflammatory to antiviral white blood cells. Second, our results support the hypothesis that socioeconomic disadvantage and chronological age increase risk for chronic illness in part through their effect on inflammatory processes.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.03.005DOI Listing
July 2017

Anxiety Mediates Perceived Discrimination and Health in African-American Women.

Am J Health Behav 2016 11;40(6):697-704

Professor, University of Georgia, Department of Psychology, Athens, GA.

Objective: We examined the mediational role of symptoms of anxiety in accounting for the association of discrimination and chronic health conditions among African-American women.

Methods: Participants were 646 African-American women who completed self-report measures of perceived racial discrimination, symptoms of anxiety, and diagnosed chronic health problems.

Results: We examined the mediation hypothesis using a path analytic procedure. Mediational analyses indicated that, above and beyond symptoms of depression, age, and education status, anxiety symptoms were associated with both racial discrimination (β = .03, SE = .01, p < .001) and chronic health problems (β = .33, SE = .09, p < .001) and significantly mediated the discrimination-health association (β = -.01, SE = .01, p = .16).

Conclusions: These findings highlight the potentially vital role of symptoms of anxiety in the process that occurs from an individual's perception of discrimination to reported chronic health outcomes. Future research expanding our understanding of the interconnection of psychosocial stressors, discrimination, and their biological sequelae is needed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.40.6.2DOI Listing
November 2016

Methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene mediates the effect of adversity on negative schemas and depression.

Dev Psychopathol 2017 08 20;29(3):725-736. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

University of Iowa.

Building upon various lines of research, we posited that methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) would mediate the effect of adult adversity on increased commitment to negative schemas and in turn the development of depression. We tested our model using structural equation modeling and longitudinal data from a sample of 100 middle-aged, African American women. The results provided strong support for the model. Analysis of the 12 CpG sites available for the promoter region of the OXTR gene identified four factors. One of these factors was related to the study variables, whereas the others were not. This factor mediated the effect of adult adversity on schemas relating to pessimism and distrust, and these schemas, in turn, mediated the impact of OXTR methylation on depression. All indirect effects were statistically significant, and they remained significant after controlling for childhood trauma, age, romantic relationship status, individual differences in cell types, and average level of genome-wide methylation. These finding suggest that epigenetic regulation of the oxytocin system may be a mechanism whereby the negative cognitions central to depression become biologically embedded.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579416000420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5395354PMC
August 2017

Methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene mediates the effect of adversity on negative schemas and depression.

Dev Psychopathol 2017 08 20;29(3):725-736. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

University of Iowa.

Building upon various lines of research, we posited that methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) would mediate the effect of adult adversity on increased commitment to negative schemas and in turn the development of depression. We tested our model using structural equation modeling and longitudinal data from a sample of 100 middle-aged, African American women. The results provided strong support for the model. Analysis of the 12 CpG sites available for the promoter region of the OXTR gene identified four factors. One of these factors was related to the study variables, whereas the others were not. This factor mediated the effect of adult adversity on schemas relating to pessimism and distrust, and these schemas, in turn, mediated the impact of OXTR methylation on depression. All indirect effects were statistically significant, and they remained significant after controlling for childhood trauma, age, romantic relationship status, individual differences in cell types, and average level of genome-wide methylation. These finding suggest that epigenetic regulation of the oxytocin system may be a mechanism whereby the negative cognitions central to depression become biologically embedded.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579416000420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5395354PMC
August 2017

Economic hardship and biological weathering: The epigenetics of aging in a U.S. sample of black women.

Soc Sci Med 2016 Feb 10;150:192-200. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

Department of Sociology, SUNY Buffalo, USA.

Background: Past research has linked low socio-economic status (SES) to inflammation, metabolic dysregulation, and various chronic and age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and dementia. These studies suggest that the challenges and adversities associated with low SES may result in premature aging and increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Objective: Building upon this research, the present study investigates various avenues whereby low income might accelerate biological aging.

Methods: Structural equation modeling and longitudinal data from a sample of 100 Black, middle-aged women residing in the United States was used to investigate the effect of income on a recently developed epigenetic measure of biological aging. This measure can be used as a "biological clock" to assess, at any point during adulthood, the extent to which an individual is experiencing accelerated or decelerated biological aging.

Results: Low income displayed a robust association with accelerated aging that was unaffected after controlling for other SES-related factors such as education, marital status, and childhood adversity. Further, our analyses indicated that the association between income and biological aging was not explained by health-related behaviors such as diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, or having health insurance. Rather, in large measure, it was financial pressure (difficulty paying bills, buying necessities, or meeting daily expenses) that accounted for the association between low income and accelerated aging.

Conclusions: These findings support the view that chronic financial pressures associated with low income exert a weathering effect that results in premature aging.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4733569PMC
February 2016

Methylomic Aging as a Window onto the Influence of Lifestyle: Tobacco and Alcohol Use Alter the Rate of Biological Aging.

J Am Geriatr Soc 2015 Dec 14;63(12):2519-2525. Epub 2015 Nov 14.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Objectives: To examine the effect of the relationship between alcohol and cigarette consumption on biological aging using deoxyribonucleic acid methylation-based indices.

Design: Hierarchical linear regression modeling followed by fitting of higher-order effects.

Setting: Longitudinal studies of aging and the effect of psychosocial stress.

Participants: Participants in two ethnically informative cohorts (n = 656 white, n = 180 black).

Measurements: Deviation of biological age from chronological age as a result of smoking and alcohol consumption.

Results: Greater cigarette consumption was associated with accelerated biological aging, with strong effects evident at even low levels of exposure. In contrast, alcohol consumption was associated with a mixed effect on biological aging and pronounced nonlinear effects. At low and heavy levels of alcohol consumption, there was accelerated biological aging, whereas at intermediate levels of consumption there was a relative decelerating effect. The decelerating effects of alcohol were particularly notable at loci for which methylation increased with age.

Conclusion: These data support prior epidemiological studies indicating that moderate alcohol use is associated with healthy aging, but we urge caution in interpreting these results. Conversely, smoking has strong negative effects at all levels of consumption. These results also support the use of methylomic indices as a tool for assessing the impact of lifestyle on aging.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgs.13830DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906951PMC
December 2015

Ethnicity and Smoking-Associated DNA Methylation Changes at HIV Co-Receptor GPR15.

Front Psychiatry 2015 22;6:132. Epub 2015 Sep 22.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa , Iowa City, IA , USA ; Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa , Iowa City, IA , USA.

Smoking is associated with poorer health outcomes for both African and European Americans. In order to better understand whether ethnic-specific genetic variation may underlie some of these differences, we compared the smoking-associated genome-wide methylation signatures of African Americans with those of European Americans, and followed up this analysis with a focused examination of the most ethnically divergent locus, cg19859270, at the GPR15 gene. We examined the association of methylation at this locus to the rs2230344 SNP and GPR15 gene and protein expression. Consistent with prior analyses, AHRR residue cg05575921 was the most differentially methylated residue in both African Americans and European Americans. However, the second most differentially methylated locus in African Americans, cg19859270, was only modestly differentially methylated in European Americans. Interrogation of the methylation status of this CpG residue found in GPR15, a chemokine receptor involved in HIV pathogenesis, showed a significant interaction of ethnicity with smoking as well as a marginal effect of genotype at rs2230344, a neighboring non-synonymous SNP, but only among African Americans. Gene and protein expression analyses showed that demethylation at cg19859270 was associated with an increase in both mRNA and protein levels. Since GPR15 is involved in the early stages of viral replication for some HIV-1 and HIV-2 isolates, and the prevalence of HIV is increased in African Americans and smokers, these data support a possible role for GPR15 in the ethnically dependent differential prevalence of HIV.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4585036PMC
October 2015

Stress, relationship satisfaction, and health among African American women: Genetic moderation of effects.

J Fam Psychol 2016 Mar 10;30(2):221-32. Epub 2015 Aug 10.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa.

We examined whether romantic relationship satisfaction would serve as a link between early and later stressors which in turn would influence the thyroid function index (TFI), an indicator of physiological stress response. Using the framework of genetic susceptibility theory combined with hypotheses derived from the vulnerability-stress-adaptation and stress-generation models, we tested whether the hypothesized mediational model would be conditioned by 5-HTTLPR genotype, with greater effects and stronger evidence of mediation among carriers of the "s" allele. In a sample of African American women in romantic relationships (n = 270), we found that 5-HTTLPR moderated each stage of the hypothesized mediational model in a "for better or for worse" manner. That is genetic polymorphisms function to exacerbate not only the detrimental impact of negative environments (i.e., "for worse effects") but also the beneficial impact of positive environments (i.e., "for better effects"). The effect of early stress on relationship satisfaction was greater among carriers of the "short" allele than among those who did not carry the short allele, and was significantly different in both the "for better" and "for worse" direction. Likewise, the effect of relationship satisfaction on later stressors was moderated in a "for better "or "for worse" manner. Finally, impact on physiological stress, indexed using TFI level, indicated that the impact of later stressors on TFI level was greater in the presence of the short allele, and also followed a "for better" or "for worse" pattern. As expected, the proposed mediational model provided a better fit for "s" allele carriers.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000140DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4749476PMC
March 2016

Financial strain, inflammatory factors, and haemoglobin A1c levels in African American women.

Br J Health Psychol 2015 Sep 18;20(3):662-79. Epub 2014 Oct 18.

University of Iowa, Iowa, USA.

Objective: Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects African American women, a population exposed to high levels of stress, including financial strain (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2011, http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf). We tested a mediational model in which chronic financial strain among African American women contributes to elevated serum inflammation markers, which, in turn, lead to increased haemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) levels and risk for type 2 diabetes.

Methods: We assessed level of financial strain four times over a 10-year period and tested its effect on two serum inflammation markers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and soluble interleukin-6 receptor (sIL-6R) in year 11 of the study. We tested the inflammation markers as mediators in the association between chronic financial strain and HbA1c, an index of average blood glucose level over several months.

Design: Data were from 312 non-diabetic African American women from the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS; Cutrona et al., 2000, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 79, 1088).

Results: Chronic financial strain predicted circulating sIL-6R after controlling for age, BMI, health behaviours, and physical health measures. In turn, sIL-6R significantly predicted HbA1c levels. The path between chronic financial strain and HbA1c was significantly mediated by sIL-6R. Contrary to prediction, CRP was not predicted by chronic financial strain.

Conclusions: Results support the role of inflammatory factors in mediating the effects of psychosocial stressors on risk for type 2 diabetes. Findings have implications for interventions that boost economic security and foster effective coping as well as medical interventions that reduce serum inflammation to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12120DOI Listing
September 2015

The effect of neighborhood disadvantage, social ties, and genetic variation on the antisocial behavior of African American women: a multilevel analysis.

Dev Psychopathol 2014 Nov 8;26(4 Pt 1):1113-28. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Iowa State University.

Social disorganization theory posits that individuals who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior than are those who live in advantaged neighborhoods and that neighborhood disadvantage asserts this effect through its disruptive impact on social ties. Past research on this framework has been limited in two respects. First, most studies have concentrated on adolescent males. In contrast, the present study focused on a sample of adult African American females. Second, past research has largely ignored individual-level factors that might explain why people who grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods often do not engage in antisocial behavior. We investigated the extent to which genetic variation contributes to heterogeneity of response to neighborhood conditions. We found that the impact of neighborhood disadvantage on antisocial behavior was mediated by neighborhood social ties. Further, the analysis indicated that the effects of neighborhood disadvantage and social ties on antisocial behavior were moderated by genetic polymorphisms. Examination of these moderating effects provided support for the differential susceptibility model of Gene × Environment. The effect of Gene × Neighborhood Disadvantage on antisocial behavior was mediated by the effect of Gene × Neighborhood Social Ties, providing support for an expanded view of social disorganization theory.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579414000200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4527049PMC
November 2014

The effect of smoking on DNA methylation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from African American women.

BMC Genomics 2014 Feb 22;15:151. Epub 2014 Feb 22.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Rm 2-126 MEB, 500 Newton Road, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Background: Regular smoking is associated with a wide variety of syndromes with prominent inflammatory components such as cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Heavy regular smoking is also associated with changes in the DNA methylation of peripheral mononuclear cells. However, in younger smokers, inflammatory epigenetic findings are largely absent which suggests the inflammatory response(s) to smoking may be dose dependent. To help understand whether peripheral mononuclear cells have a role in mediating these responses in older smokers with higher cumulative smoke exposure, we examined genome-wide DNA methylation in a group of well characterized adult African American subjects informative for smoking, as well as serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 receptor (IL6R) levels. In addition, complementary bioinformatic analyses were conducted to delineate possible pathways affected by long-term smoking.

Results: Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis with respect to smoking status yielded 910 significant loci after Benjamini-Hochberg correction. In particular, two loci from the AHRR gene (cg05575921 and cg23576855) and one locus from the GPR15 gene (cg19859270) were identified as highly significantly differentially methylated between smokers and non-smokers. The bioinformatic analyses showed that long-term chronic smoking is associated with altered promoter DNA methylation of genes coding for proteins mapping to critical sub-networks moderating inflammation, immune function, and coagulation.

Conclusions: We conclude that chronic regular smoking is associated with changes in peripheral mononuclear cell methylation signature which perturb inflammatory and immune function pathways and may contribute to increased vulnerability for complex illnesses with inflammatory components.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-15-151DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936875PMC
February 2014

The Effects of General Social Support and Social Support for Racial Discrimination on African American Women's Well-Being.

J Black Psychol 2014 Feb;40(1):3-26

Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University.

The present longitudinal study examined the role of general and tailored social support in mitigating the deleterious impact of racial discrimination on depressive symptoms and optimism in a large sample of African American women. Participants were 590 African American women who completed measures assessing racial discrimination, general social support, tailored social support for racial discrimination, depressive symptoms, and optimism at two time points (2001-2002 and 2003-2004). Our results indicated that higher levels of general and tailored social support predicted optimism one year later; changes in both types of support also predicted changes in optimism over time. Although initial levels of neither measure of social support predicted depressive symptoms over time, changes in tailored support predicted changes in depressive symptoms. We also sought to determine whether general and tailored social support "buffer" or diminish the negative effects of racial discrimination on depressive symptoms and optimism. Our results revealed a classic buffering effect of tailored social support, but not general support on depressive symptoms for women experiencing high levels of discrimination.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0095798412469227DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3892910PMC
February 2014

Effects of perceived racial discrimination on health status and health behavior: a differential mediation hypothesis.

Health Psychol 2014 Jan;33(1):11-9

Department of Psychology, The George Washington University.

Objective: Prospective data tested a "differential mediation" hypothesis: The relations (found in previous research) between perceived racial discrimination and physical health status versus health-impairing behavior (problematic substance use) are mediated by two different types of affective reactions, internalizing and externalizing.

Method: The sample included 680 African American women from the Family and Community Health Study (M age = 37 years at Time 1; 45 years at Time 4). Four waves of data were analyzed. Perceived discrimination was assessed, along with anxiety and depression (internalizing) and hostility/anger (externalizing) as mediators, and physical health status and problematic substance use (drinking) as outcomes.

Results: Structural equation modeling indicated that discrimination predicted increases in both externalizing and internalizing reactions. These affective responses, in turn, predicted subsequent problematic substance use and physical health status, respectively, also controlling for earlier reports. In each case, the indirect effects from discrimination through the affective mediator to the specific health outcome were significant and consistent with the differential mediation hypothesis.

Conclusions: Perceived racial discrimination is associated with increases in internalizing and externalizing reactions among Black women, but these reactions are related to different health outcomes. Changes in internalizing are associated with self-reported changes in physical health status, whereas changes in externalizing are associated with changes in substance use problems. Discussion focuses on the processes whereby discrimination affects health behavior and physical health status.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0033857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893709PMC
January 2014

Impact of child sex abuse on adult psychopathology: a genetically and epigenetically informed investigation.

J Fam Psychol 2013 Feb;27(1):3-11

Center for Family Research, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Genetic, environmental, and epigenetic influences and their transactions were examined in a sample of 155 women from the Iowa adoptee sample who had been removed from their biological parents shortly after birth and assessed when participants were an average of 41.10 years old. We observed an interactive effect of child sex abuse (CSA) and biological parent psychopathology (i.e., genetic load) on substance abuse as well as a main effect of CSA on substance abuse in adulthood. We also observed main effects of CSA and genetic load on depression and on antisocial characteristics. As predicted, CSA, but not genetic load or later substance abuse, was associated with epigenetic change. In addition, the interaction between genetic load and CSA predicted epigenetic change, indicating a potential genetic basis for a differential impact of CSA on epigenetic change. Finally, epigenetic change partially mediated the effect of CSA on antisocial characteristics. The results suggest the relevance of genetic and epigenetic processes for future theorizing regarding marital and family precursors of several forms of adult psychopathology. Implications for preventive intervention are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0031459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813956PMC
February 2013

Is loneliness the same as being alone?

J Psychol 2012 Jan-Apr;146(1-2):7-22

Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-4380, USA.

The cognitive discrepancy model predicts that loneliness occurs when individuals perceive a difference between their desired and actual levels of social involvement. Using data from a sample of high school sophomore students, the present investigation was designed to go beyond previous research that has tested this model by examining the predicted nonlinear relationships between desired and actual social contact and feelings of loneliness. Analyses indicated that support for the cognitive discrepancy model of loneliness was found only for measures of close friendships. Specifically, the discrepancy between the students' ideal number and actual number of close friends was found to be related in a nonlinear fashion to feelings of satisfaction with close friendships and loneliness after control for the number of close friends. Implications of these findings for theoretical models of loneliness are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223980.2011.589414DOI Listing
February 2012

Neighborhood disorder and children's antisocial behavior: the protective effect of family support among Mexican American and African American Families.

Am J Community Psychol 2012 Sep;50(1-2):101-13

Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, 202 Cousteau Place Suite 100, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

Using data from a sample of 673 Mexican Origin families, the current investigation examined the degree to which family supportiveness acted as a protective buffer between neighborhood disorder and antisocial behavior during late childhood (i.e. intent to use controlled substances, externalizing, and association with deviant peers). Children's perceptions of neighborhood disorder fully mediated associations between census and observer measures of neighborhood disorder and their antisocial behavior. Family support buffered children from the higher rates of antisocial behavior generally associated with living in disorderly neighborhoods. An additional goal of the current study was to replicate these findings in a second sample of 897 African American families, and that replication was successful. These findings suggest that family support may play a protective role for children living in dangerous or disadvantaged neighborhoods. They also suggest that neighborhood interventions should consider several points of entry including structural changes, resident perceptions of their neighborhood and family support.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10464-011-9481-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3496766PMC
September 2012

Genetic moderation of contextual effects on negative arousal and parenting in African-American parents.

J Fam Psychol 2012 Feb 14;26(1):46-55. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Center for Contextual Genetics and Prevention Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

A three-stage context amplification model was tested with a sample of 345 African-American parent-child dyads. The model combined the conceptual structure of stress generation with recent findings regarding genetic susceptibility. Because the 7R + allele of the dopamine transporter (DRD4) has the potential to enhance contextual priming and arousal, this allele was examined as a potential moderator of each stage of the amplification process. Particular attention was given to the hypothesized influence of parental negative arousal on valence of parent-child interactions. The literature on genetic susceptibility led to the hypothesis that DRD4 would moderate each stage of the model in a "for better or for worse" manner. The model was partially supported. DRD4 moderated effects at all three stages of the model and, as hypothesized, DRD4 moderated contextual effects on negative arousal in a "for better or for worse" manner. Effects on parent-child interaction, however, were moderated in a "for worse" manner only. These results indicate that parenting interactions may amplify the effects of positive and negative contexts in a stress-generating manner, and that a susceptibility framework captures the way in which DRD4 moderates the impact of context on negative arousal.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0026236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3274648PMC
February 2012

Predicting relationship stability among midlife African American couples.

J Consult Clin Psychol 2011 Dec 17;79(6):814-25. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.

Objective: This study examined predictors of relationship stability over 5 years among heterosexual cohabiting and married African American couples raising an elementary-school-age child. The vulnerability-stress-adaptation model of relationships (Karney & Bradbury, 1995) guided the investigation. Contextual variables were conceptualized as important determinants of education and income, which in turn influence family structure, stress, and relationship quality and stability. Religiosity was tested as a resource variable that enhances relationship stability.

Method: Couples (N = 207) were drawn from the Family and Community Health Study. Variables assessed at Wave 1 (education, income, religiosity, biological vs. stepfamily status, marital status, financial strain, and relationship quality) were used to predict relationship stability 5 years later.

Results: Higher levels of education were associated with higher income, lower financial strain, and family structures that research has shown to be more stable (marriage rather than cohabitation and biological-family rather than stepfamily status; Bumpass & Lu, 2000). These variables, in turn, influenced relationship quality and stability. Religiosity, an important resource in the lives of African Americans, promoted relationship stability through its association with marriage, biological-family status, and women's relationship quality.

Conclusions: Enhancing the stability of African American couples' relationships will require changes in societal conditions that limit opportunities for education and income and weaken relationship bonds. Programs to assist couples with blended families are needed, and incorporation of spirituality into culturally sensitive relationship interventions for African American couples may also prove beneficial.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0025874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3495553PMC
December 2011

The Enduring Significance of Racism: Discrimination and Delinquency Among Black American Youth.

J Res Adolesc 2011 Sep;21(3):662-676

University of California, Davis.

Prominent explanations of the overrepresentation of Black Americans in criminal justice statistics focus on the effects of neighborhood concentrated disadvantage, racial isolation, and social disorganization. We suggest that perceived personal discrimination is an important but frequently neglected complement to these factors. We test this hypothesis with longitudinal data on involvement in general and violent juvenile delinquency in a sample of Black youth from a variety of communities in 2 states. We examine the direct effects of concentrated disadvantage and racial isolation and the direct and mediating effects of social organization, support for violence, and personal discrimination. Consistent with our hypothesis, perceived personal discrimination has notable direct effects on both general and violent delinquency and is an important mediator between neighborhood structural conditions and offending; moreover, its effects exceed those associated with neighborhood conditions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00699.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176598PMC
September 2011

Mechanisms of Family Impact on African American Adolescents' HIV-Related Behavior.

J Res Adolesc 2011 Jun;21(2):361-375

University of Georgia, Center for Family Research, 1095 College Station Road, Athens, Georgia 30602-4527.

A longitudinal model that tested mediating pathways between protective family processes and HIV-related behavior was evaluated with 195 African American youth. Three waves of data were collected when the youth were 13, 15, and 19 years old. Evidence of mediation and temporal priority were assessed for three constructs: academic engagement, evaluations of prototypical risk-taking peers, and affiliations with risk-promoting peers. Structural equation modeling indicated that protective family processes assessed during early adolescence were associated with HIV-related behavior during emerging adulthood and that academic engagement, evaluations of prototypical risk-taking peers, and affiliations with risk-promoting peers accounted for this association. Evidence of a specific pathway emerged: protective family processes → academic engagement negative → evaluations of prototypical risk-taking peers→ affiliations with risk-promoting peers→ HIV-related behavior. Academic engagement also was a direct predictor of HIV-related risk behavior.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00672.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3106413PMC
June 2011

The relationship of deiodinase 1 genotype and thyroid function to lifetime history of major depression in three independent populations.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2011 Jul 11;156B(5):593-9. Epub 2011 May 11.

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.

Major depression (MD) is often associated with disturbances of the hypothalamic/pituitary/thyroid (HPT) axis. Unfortunately, whether this association is secondary to common underlying genetic variation or whether the MD-associated disturbances in HPT function are chronic or state-dependent is unknown. To examine these questions, we genotyped 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms identified in previous genome wide association analyses of thyroid function in DNA contributed by 1,555 subjects from three longitudinal ethnically diverse studies that are well-characterized for lifetime MD and thyroid function. We then examined associations between genetic variants and key outcomes of thyroid stimulating hormone, free thyroxine (FT4) and depression. We confirmed prior findings that two variants in deiodinase 1 (DIO1), including a variant in the 3'UTR of DIO1 (rs11206244), were associated with altered FT4 levels in both White and African American subjects. We also found that rs11206244 genotype was associated with lifetime MD in White female subjects, in particular those from high-risk cohorts. However, we found no association of current FT4 levels with lifetime MD in either ethnic group. We conclude that genetic variation influencing thyroid function is a risk factor for MD. Given the evidence from prior studies, further investigations of role of HPT variation in etiology and treatment of MD are indicated.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.31200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236034PMC
July 2011