Association between Childhood Exposure to Family Violence and Telomere Length: A Meta-Analysis

Xiaoyan Chen, Camilla K.M. Lo, Ko Ling Chan (Corresponding Author), Wing Cheong Leung, Patrick Ip

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aims of this meta-analysis were to examine the association between childhood exposure to family violence and telomere length and the moderating variables that influence this association. Relevant works published on or before 1st September 2022 were identified through a search in five major databases in English and 19 articles (N = 18,977) finally met the inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis was conducted to compute the pooled effect size (correlation; r), and moderator analyses were performed using a random effects meta-analytic model. The studies yielded a significant inverse association between childhood exposure to family violence and telomere length, with a small effect size (r = −0.038, 95% CI [−0.070, −0.005], p = 0.025). Furthermore, the strength of this association was stronger in studies examining the co-occurrence of multiple types of violence than in those examining just one type (Q = 8.143, p = 0.004). These findings suggested that victims’ telomere length may be negatively influenced by childhood exposure to family violence and that such impairment appears to be stronger for those who are exposed to multiple types of violence. Future studies are necessary to examine the moderating and mediating factors underlying the association between childhood exposure to family violence and telomere length.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12151
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • child exposure to intimate partner violence
  • child maltreatment
  • childhood exposure to family violence
  • meta-analysis
  • telomere length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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