Toronto Metropolitan University
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Exploring the Relationship Between Childhood Adversity and Adult Autoimmune Symptoms

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posted on 2024-06-18, 16:45 authored by Bailey Thompson

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been associated with negative health outcomes, including autoimmunity, in which the immune system erroneously attacks healthy body tissue. This study investigates if variations of ACEs, including type, timing, and severity, are related to autoimmunity. Participants completed an online questionnaire study which included measures of ACEs, autoimmune conditions, perceived immune status, disease severity, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Measures of familial autoimmunity, childhood socioeconomic status, as well as anxiety and depression symptoms, and childhood trauma severity, were administered. ACEs were related to an increased risk for autoimmune conditions, poorer perceived immune status, and increased disease severity. Results suggest that more types of exposure earlier in development are associated with the poorest outcomes. PTSD symptom severity does not meaningfully moderate the relationship between ACEs and autoimmunity. Implications are discussed in the context of a nonclinical sample. Limitations of this study and future directions are also presented.

History

Language

eng

Degree

  • Master of Arts

Program

  • Psychology

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis

Thesis Advisor

Kristin Vickers

Year

2022

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    Psychology (Theses)

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