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Development and Validation of the Weighted Index for Childhood Adverse Conditions (WICAC)

  • a., bo sofie
Publication Date
Oct 14, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph192013251
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Background: Adverse experiences in childhood are a major public health concern, promoting social inequality in health through biopsychosocial mechanisms. So far, no known measures comprehend the complexity and variations of severity of adverse events. This study aims to develop and validate a new index: the Weighted Index for Childhood Adverse Conditions (WICAC). Methods: The population consists of 7493 randomly invited men and women aged 18–72 years. Data were collected in 2012–2015 as part of the Danish Study of Functional Disorders (DanFunD). Content and construct validation of the WICAC was performed with the hypothesis testing of multiple biopsychosocial outcomes: cardiovascular disease, cancer, poor health, back pain, BMI, obesity, anxiety, depression, low vitality, subjective social status, lower education, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Data were analysed with binominal and linear regression models with risk ratios (RR) and mean differences (MD). Results: Content validation is fitting for WICAC. The strongest associations observed were for most severe adversity: Poor Health RR = 2.16 (1.19–2.91), Anxiety RR = 3.32 (2.32–4.74), Heavy Drinking RR = 4.09 (1.85–9.04), and Subjective Social Status MD = −0.481 (−0.721–(−0.241)). Similar results were found for the remaining outcomes. Discriminative validation was undecided. Conclusions: WICAC is an adequate instrument for measuring cumulative adverse life events in childhood and adolescence for research purposes.

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