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Comparative Study
, 39 (4), 286-92

Childhood Adversities, Parent-Child Relationships and Dispositional Optimism in Adulthood

Comparative Study

Childhood Adversities, Parent-Child Relationships and Dispositional Optimism in Adulthood

Katariina Korkeila et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol.


Background: Studies exploring the effects of childhood adversities and parent-child relationship on adulthood dispositional optimism are rather rare, have been performed on small, selected samples and lack analyses of interaction between childhood factors.

Method: A total of 19970 working-aged Finns responded to the population-based HeSSup Study baseline questionnaire in 1998. The level of dispositional optimism (measured with the LOT-R scale) was analyzed according to self-reported childhood adversities, childhood parent-child relationships and their interaction, using multivariate linear regression analysis methods. A number of potential confounding factors (education, living alone, recent life events, somatic health and depressive mood) were taken into account.

Results: Childhood adversities were associated with decreasing optimism in a dose-response manner. Good parent-child relationships were associated with increasing optimism, with a partial buffering effect when confronting adversities.

Conclusion: Those reporting childhood adversities and poor parent-child relationships had less optimistic expectations, which may need to be addressed in clinical settings.

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