Childhood Misfortune and Handgrip Strength Among Black, White, and Hispanic Americans.

TitleChildhood Misfortune and Handgrip Strength Among Black, White, and Hispanic Americans.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSmith, NR, Ferraro, KF, Kemp, BR, Morton, PM, Mustillo, SA, Angel, JL
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2019 02 15
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsAdult, Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, African Americans, Aged, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Hand Strength, Health Status, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Male, Risk Factors, Sex Factors

OBJECTIVE: Although early-life insults may affect health, few studies use objective physical measures of adult health. This study investigated whether experiencing misfortune during childhood is associated with handgrip strength (HGS) in later life.

METHOD: Data on childhood misfortune and adult characteristics from the Health and Retirement Study were used to predict baseline and longitudinal change in HGS among White, Black, and Hispanic American men and women.

RESULTS: Regression analyses revealed that multiple indicators of childhood misfortune were related to HGS at baseline, but the relationships were distinct for men and women. Over the study, having one childhood impairment predicted steeper declines in HGS for men, but childhood misfortune was unrelated to HGS change among women. Hispanic Americans had lower baseline HGS than their non-Hispanic counterparts and manifested steeper declines in HGS.

DISCUSSION: The relationship between childhood exposures and adult HGS varied by the type of misfortune, but there was no evidence that the relationship varied by race/ethnicity. The significant and enduring Hispanic disadvantage in HGS warrants greater attention in gerontology.

User Guide Notes

Short TitleGERONB
Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key8808
PubMed ID27927743
PubMed Central IDPMC6377034
Grant ListR01 AG043544 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States