Deprivation during childhood is linked to impulsive behaviour in adulthood, finds a new UCL-led study.
The study, which is the first of its kind, found that people who were deprived of basic needs such as food, shelter and warmth as children were more likely to act impulsively as adults.
The findings could help to explain why people who have experienced deprivation are more likely to engage in risky behaviours, such as drug use, and why they are more likely to suffer from mental health problems.
The study, which is published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, used data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, which has followed the lives of more than 19,000 people born between 2000 and 2002.
The researchers used a questionnaire to assess levels of deprivation experienced during childhood, and then looked at how this was linked to impulsive behaviour in adulthood.
They found that people who had experienced deprivation were more likely to act impulsively in adulthood, even after taking into account other factors such as family income, parental education and childhood IQ.
The findings suggest that deprivation during childhood can have a lasting impact on adult behaviour, and that this needs to be taken into account when designing interventions to reduce impulsive behaviour.
According to a new study, deprivation in childhood is linked to impulsive behaviour in adulthood. The study, which is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggests that early life adversity can lead to changes in the brain that later manifest as impulsive behaviour.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Rochester Medical Center. The team looked at data from over 1,800 individuals who had been followed from birth to adulthood. The participants were from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, and the researchers controlled for factors such as IQ, parental education, and family income.
The findings showed that participants who had experienced deprivation in childhood were more likely to exhibit impulsive behaviour as adults. Furthermore, the participants who had experienced the most severe forms of deprivation were the most likely to exhibit impulsive behaviour.
The study provides new insights into the link between early life adversity and impulsive behaviour. It also has implications for our understanding of the development of psychiatric disorders such as ADHD and OCD, which are characterized by impulsive behaviour.