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J Res Adolesc. 2012 Jun 1;22(2):284-300. Epub 2012 Feb 27.

Effects of Timing of Adversity on Adolescent and Young Adult Adjustment.

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Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Box 351525, Seattle, WA 98195.


Effects of Timing of Adversity on Adolescent and Young Adult Adjustment Abstract Exposure to adversity during childhood and adolescence predicts adjustment across development. Further, adolescent adjustment problems persist into young adulthood. This study examined relations of contextual adversity with concurrent adolescent adjustment and prospective mental health and health outcomes in young adulthood. A longitudinal sample (N = 808) was followed from age 10 through 27. Perceptions of neighborhood in childhood predicted depression, alcohol use disorders, and HIV risk in young adulthood. Further, the timing of adversity was important in determining the type of problem experienced in adulthood. Youth adjustment predicted adult outcomes, and in some cases, mediated the relation between adversity and outcomes. These findings support the importance of adversity in predicting adjustment and elucidate factors that affect outcomes into young adulthood.

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