eCite Digital Repository

Childhood health motivation and adult cardiometabolic health in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) study


Gall, SL and Schuz, N and Schuz, B and Martin, K and Abbott-Chapman, J and Ollington, N and Patton, GC and Dwyer, T and Venn, AJ, Childhood health motivation and adult cardiometabolic health in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) study, Health Psychology, 38, (4) pp. 297-305. ISSN 0278-6133 (2019) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Final author version)

PDF (Final author version - supp data)

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 American Psychological Association. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:

DOI: doi:10.1037/hea0000718


Objective: This research examined if childhood health motivation was associated with adult health behaviors and objectively measured health outcomes.

Method: Data were from the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study. Children aged 9 to 15 years in 1985 completed a questionnaire with health motivation items. In 2004-2006, when aged 26 to 36, participants completed assessments of health behaviors (smoking, diet, alcohol consumption, and physical activity) and cardiometabolic outcomes (body mass index, carotid intima-media thickness from ultrasound, and HOMA insulin resistance from fasting blood samples). Structural path regression analyses examined pathways from health motivation in childhood to adult cardiometabolic outcomes, mediated via adult health behaviors measured concurrently, controlling for age, sex and socioeconomic position.

Results: There were 6,230 (49% female) children with data on health motivation. There were two latent constructs: health motivation (4 items: visiting a dentist, visiting a doctor, knowing about your body, and eating a good diet) and risk motivation (3 items: not being a smoker, not being fat, and not drinking alcohol). Greater health motivation was directly associated with nonsmoking, lower carotid intima-media thickness, and lower body mass index in adulthood. Greater risk motivation was directly associated with smoking, higher alcohol consumption, and poorer diets in adulthood. It was also indirectly associated with higher carotid intima-media thickness and higher HOMA insulin resistance via poorer health behaviors.

Conclusions: Health motivation during childhood appears important to maintain health across the life course. It could be a target for interventions to improve cardiovascular health in children and adults.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:longitudinal studies, behavioral medicine, cardiovascular diseases, risk factors
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Neonatal and child health
UTAS Author:Gall, SL (Associate Professor Seana Gall)
UTAS Author:Schuz, N (Dr Natalie Schuez)
UTAS Author:Schuz, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
UTAS Author:Martin, K (Dr Kara Martin)
UTAS Author:Abbott-Chapman, J (Professor Joan Abbott-Chapman)
UTAS Author:Ollington, N (Dr Nadia Ollington)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:133280
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-06-20
Last Modified:2020-08-14
Downloads:44 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page