Publication Date


Document Type


Organizational Units

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology


Cardiometabolic risk, Infancy, Metabolic syndrome, Psychosocial risk, Young adulthood


Greater psychosocial risk in childhood and adolescence predicts poorer cardiometabolic outcomes in adulthood. We assessed whether the timing of psychosocial risk from infancy through adolescence predicts cardiometabolic outcomes in young adulthood. Young adults and their mothers participated in a longitudinal study beginning in infancy in Santiago, Chile (N = 1040). At infancy, 5 years, 10 years, and adolescence, mothers reported on depressive symptoms, stressful experiences, support for child development in the home, father absence, parental education, and socioeconomic status (SES) to create a psychosocial risk composite at each time point. Young adults (52.1% female; 21–27 years) provided fasting serum samples and participated in anthropometric and blood pressure (BP) assessments, including a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan for measuring body fat. Greater infant psychosocial risk was associated with a greater young adult metabolic syndrome score (β = 0.07, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.01 to 0.13, p = 0.02), a higher body mass index and waist circumference composite (β = 0.08, 95% CI: 0.03 to 0.13, p = 0.002), and a higher body fat (DXA) composite (β = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.12, p = 0.02). No psychosocial risk measure from any time point was associated with BP. Infant psychosocial risk predicted cardiometabolic outcomes in young adulthood better than psychosocial risk at 5 years, 10 years, or adolescence, mean of psychosocial risk from infancy through adolescence, and maximum of psychosocial risk at any one time. Consistent with the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease model, findings suggest that infancy is a sensitive period for psychosocial risk leading to poorer cardiometabolic outcomes in young adulthood.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the authors. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. This article was originally published as:

Doom, J. R., Rivera, K. M., Blanco, E., Burrows, R., Correa-Burrows, P., East, P., . . ., & Gahagan, S. (2020). Sensitive periods for psychosocial risk in childhood and adolescence and cardiometabolic outcomes in young adulthood. Development and Psychopathology, 32(Special Issue 5), 1864-1875.

Rights Holder

Jenalee R. Doom, Kenia M. Rivera, Estela Blanco, Raquel Burrows, Paulina Correa-Burrows, Patricia L. East, Betsy Lozoff, and Sheila Gahagan


Received from Cambridge University Press

File Format



English (eng)


12 pgs

File Size

634 KB

Publication Title

Development and Psychopathology


32(Special Issue 5)

First Page


Last Page