Prevalence of Negative Life Events and Chronic Adversities in European Pre- and Primary-School Children: Results from the IDEFICS Study

Barbara Vanaelst, Inge Huybrechts, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Karin Bammann, Charalambos Hadjigeorgiou, Gabriele Eiben, Kenn Konstabel, Nathalie Michels, Dénes Molnar, Luis Alberto Moreno, Iris Pigeot, Lucia Reisch, Alfonso Siani, Krishna Vyncke, Stefaan De Henauw

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Background: Children are not always recognized as being susceptible to stress, although childhood stressors may originate from multiple events in their everyday surroundings with negative effects on children’s health.
    Methods: As there is a lack of large-scale, European prevalence data on childhood adversities, this study presents the prevalence of (1) negative life events and (2) familial and social adversities in 4637 European pre- and primary-school children (4–11 years old), using a parentally-reported questionnaire embedded in the IDEFICS project (‘Identification and prevention of Dietary- and lifestyle-induced health EFfects In Children and infantS’).
    Results: The following findings were observed: (1) Certain adversities occur only rarely, while others are very regular (i.e. parental divorce); (2) A large percentage of children is shielded from stressors, while a small group of children is exposed to multiple, accumulating adversities; (3) The prevalence of childhood adversity is influenced by geographical location (e.g. north versus south), age group and sex; (4) Childhood adversities are associated and co-occur, resulting in potential cumulative childhood stress.
    Conclusions: This study demonstrated the importance of not only studying traumatic events but also of focusing on the early familial and social environment in childhood stress research and indicated the importance of recording or monitoring childhood adversities.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalArchives of Public Health
    Volume70
    Issue number26
    Number of pages11
    ISSN0778-7367
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Child
    • Life Events
    • Adversity
    • Prevalence
    • Stress
    • Epidemiology

    Cite this

    Vanaelst, B., Huybrechts, I., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Bammann, K., Hadjigeorgiou, C., Eiben, G., ... De Henauw, S. (2012). Prevalence of Negative Life Events and Chronic Adversities in European Pre- and Primary-School Children: Results from the IDEFICS Study. Archives of Public Health, 70(26). https://doi.org/10.1186/0778-7367-70-26
    Vanaelst, Barbara ; Huybrechts, Inge ; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse ; Bammann, Karin ; Hadjigeorgiou, Charalambos ; Eiben, Gabriele ; Konstabel, Kenn ; Michels, Nathalie ; Molnar, Dénes ; Moreno, Luis Alberto ; Pigeot, Iris ; Reisch, Lucia ; Siani, Alfonso ; Vyncke, Krishna ; De Henauw, Stefaan. / Prevalence of Negative Life Events and Chronic Adversities in European Pre- and Primary-School Children : Results from the IDEFICS Study. In: Archives of Public Health. 2012 ; Vol. 70, No. 26.
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    title = "Prevalence of Negative Life Events and Chronic Adversities in European Pre- and Primary-School Children: Results from the IDEFICS Study",
    abstract = "Background: Children are not always recognized as being susceptible to stress, although childhood stressors may originate from multiple events in their everyday surroundings with negative effects on children’s health.Methods: As there is a lack of large-scale, European prevalence data on childhood adversities, this study presents the prevalence of (1) negative life events and (2) familial and social adversities in 4637 European pre- and primary-school children (4–11 years old), using a parentally-reported questionnaire embedded in the IDEFICS project (‘Identification and prevention of Dietary- and lifestyle-induced health EFfects In Children and infantS’).Results: The following findings were observed: (1) Certain adversities occur only rarely, while others are very regular (i.e. parental divorce); (2) A large percentage of children is shielded from stressors, while a small group of children is exposed to multiple, accumulating adversities; (3) The prevalence of childhood adversity is influenced by geographical location (e.g. north versus south), age group and sex; (4) Childhood adversities are associated and co-occur, resulting in potential cumulative childhood stress.Conclusions: This study demonstrated the importance of not only studying traumatic events but also of focusing on the early familial and social environment in childhood stress research and indicated the importance of recording or monitoring childhood adversities.",
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    author = "Barbara Vanaelst and Inge Huybrechts and {De Bourdeaudhuij}, Ilse and Karin Bammann and Charalambos Hadjigeorgiou and Gabriele Eiben and Kenn Konstabel and Nathalie Michels and D{\'e}nes Molnar and Moreno, {Luis Alberto} and Iris Pigeot and Lucia Reisch and Alfonso Siani and Krishna Vyncke and {De Henauw}, Stefaan",
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    Vanaelst, B, Huybrechts, I, De Bourdeaudhuij, I, Bammann, K, Hadjigeorgiou, C, Eiben, G, Konstabel, K, Michels, N, Molnar, D, Moreno, LA, Pigeot, I, Reisch, L, Siani, A, Vyncke, K & De Henauw, S 2012, 'Prevalence of Negative Life Events and Chronic Adversities in European Pre- and Primary-School Children: Results from the IDEFICS Study', Archives of Public Health, vol. 70, no. 26. https://doi.org/10.1186/0778-7367-70-26

    Prevalence of Negative Life Events and Chronic Adversities in European Pre- and Primary-School Children : Results from the IDEFICS Study. / Vanaelst, Barbara; Huybrechts, Inge; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Bammann, Karin; Hadjigeorgiou, Charalambos; Eiben, Gabriele; Konstabel, Kenn; Michels, Nathalie; Molnar, Dénes; Moreno, Luis Alberto; Pigeot, Iris; Reisch, Lucia; Siani, Alfonso; Vyncke, Krishna; De Henauw, Stefaan.

    In: Archives of Public Health, Vol. 70, No. 26, 2012.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    T1 - Prevalence of Negative Life Events and Chronic Adversities in European Pre- and Primary-School Children

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    AU - Vanaelst, Barbara

    AU - Huybrechts, Inge

    AU - De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse

    AU - Bammann, Karin

    AU - Hadjigeorgiou, Charalambos

    AU - Eiben, Gabriele

    AU - Konstabel, Kenn

    AU - Michels, Nathalie

    AU - Molnar, Dénes

    AU - Moreno, Luis Alberto

    AU - Pigeot, Iris

    AU - Reisch, Lucia

    AU - Siani, Alfonso

    AU - Vyncke, Krishna

    AU - De Henauw, Stefaan

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    N2 - Background: Children are not always recognized as being susceptible to stress, although childhood stressors may originate from multiple events in their everyday surroundings with negative effects on children’s health.Methods: As there is a lack of large-scale, European prevalence data on childhood adversities, this study presents the prevalence of (1) negative life events and (2) familial and social adversities in 4637 European pre- and primary-school children (4–11 years old), using a parentally-reported questionnaire embedded in the IDEFICS project (‘Identification and prevention of Dietary- and lifestyle-induced health EFfects In Children and infantS’).Results: The following findings were observed: (1) Certain adversities occur only rarely, while others are very regular (i.e. parental divorce); (2) A large percentage of children is shielded from stressors, while a small group of children is exposed to multiple, accumulating adversities; (3) The prevalence of childhood adversity is influenced by geographical location (e.g. north versus south), age group and sex; (4) Childhood adversities are associated and co-occur, resulting in potential cumulative childhood stress.Conclusions: This study demonstrated the importance of not only studying traumatic events but also of focusing on the early familial and social environment in childhood stress research and indicated the importance of recording or monitoring childhood adversities.

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