University of Oulu

Gilbert R. Parra, Gail L. Smith, W. Alex Mason, Jukka Savolainen, Mary B. Chmelka, Jouko Miettunen, Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Tests of linear and nonlinear relations between cumulative contextual risk at birth and psychosocial problems during adolescence, Journal of Adolescence, Volume 60, 2017, Pages 64-73, ISSN 0140-1971,

Tests of linear and nonlinear relations between cumulative contextual risk at birth and psychosocial problems during adolescence

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Author: Parra, Gilbert R.1; Smith, Gail L.2; Mason, W. Alex2;
Organizations: 1Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 135 Mabel Lee Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588, United States
2Boys Town National Research Institute for Child and Family Studies, 14100 Crawford Street, Boys Town, NE 68010, United States
3Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, United States
4Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, UK
7Center for Life Course Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
8Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-11-08


This study tested whether there are linear or nonlinear relations between prenatal/birth cumulative risk and psychosocial outcomes during adolescence. Participants (n = 6963) were taken from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort Study 1986. The majority of participants did not experience any contextual risk factors around the time of the target child’s birth (58.1%). Even in this low-risk sample, cumulative contextual risk assessed around the time of birth was related to seven different psychosocial outcomes 16 years later. There was some evidence for nonlinear effects, but only for substance-related outcomes; however, the form of the association depended on how the cumulative risk index was calculated. Gender did not moderate the relation between cumulative risk and any of the adolescent psychosocial outcomes. Results highlight the potential value of using the cumulative risk framework for identifying children at birth who are at risk for a range of poor psychosocial outcomes during adolescence.

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Series: Journal of adolescence
ISSN: 0140-1971
ISSN-E: 1095-9254
ISSN-L: 0140-1971
Volume: 60
Pages: 64 - 73
DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.07.010
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: The analyses were supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, Grant # R01 DA038450. NFBC1986 has received support from the Academy of Finland (#268336), the European Commission (EURO-BLCS, Framework 5 award QLG1-CT-2000-01643), and the US National Institutes of Health (NIMH) (5R01MH63706:02). The preparation of this manuscript was also supported by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324B110001. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies. The funders played no role in the research design, data collection, analysis, or writing and submission process. The authors would like to thank Dr. Anja Taanila for her valuable contributions to the project.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 268336
Detailed Information: 268336 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2017 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license