Essay Example: Background of Why the Study Was Done

Published: 2023-07-23
Essay Example: Background of Why the Study Was Done
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Child development Human behavior Healthcare policy Public health
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 900 words
8 min read

Healthcare expenditure in the United States has been increasing over the years and the average personal health cost has been rising as well, as of 2014, it was $9,255 but it had risen to $11,172 per person in 2018 (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2019). These statistics show how important it is to increase the efficiency of utilization and delivery of health services. The first step is understanding the process of illness and the behavioral and psychological processes that take place before people decide to seek formal health services. One of the main factors that affect individual health outcomes is illness behavior. Illness behavior can be described as a person's perceptions and responses to signs and symptoms of signifying illnesses. Examples of illness behavior include delay in seeking medical care and denial of symptoms among others.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

There is not much research that has been done to establish the correlation between early-life personality traits and illness behavior in adulthood. Most studies on illness behavior have only examined one aspect at a time (for example, symptom reports, and health utilization) and have considered cross-sectional or short-term associations with psychosocial factors in adulthood. Moreover, even though prior longitudinal research has examined and assessed the link of childhood personality and illness with adults' self-rated and objective health, these early life factors' associations with adult illness behaviors as a unifying, multivariate construct have received little empirical attention. As such, Sisco-Taylor et al. 2019 study was done to assess two main things: first, whether childhood temperament traits are predictors of illness behaviors in adulthood, and second, to assess adult temperament traits for the mediation of temperament traits in childhood. Personality plays a crucial role in the development of illness behavior in people, consequently, the study examines and assesses illness behavior in adulthood as a development behavior, focusing on the influence of childhood temperament illness on early adult illness behavior.

Methods and Procedures Used to Conduct the Study

The research involved 714 children and siblings (364 from control families and 350 from adoptive families) all from the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP). The CAP is a longitudinal, adoption study of genetic and environmental influences on behavioral development (Sisco-Taylor et al., 2019). Since clinical studies on illness behavior can be biased toward clinic-based samples who have already sought out health care (i.e., people who tend to fall along with the higher extreme of the illness behavior continuum), the CAP, therefore, represents a unique opportunity to assess the life span development of this construct within a population-based sample of U.S. adults. Of the 714 participants, 88% (n =625) had data at the year 9 assessment, 77% (n =551) had data at the year 21 assessment, and 39% (n =275) had data at the year 30 assessment. Of the 625 individuals with data at year 9, 80% (n=501) also had longitudinal data at year 21, and 40% (n=247) had longitudinal data at year 30. Child temperament was measured using the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory.

The evaluation of the connection/link between childhood temperament and illness behavior in adulthood (for example medication use and somatic complaints) at two adulthood assessments was done using structural regression analyses. The CAP years were between 21 and 30. All illness behavior measures were gathered at CAP years 21 and 30 as part of a larger telephone-based questionnaire (Sisco-Taylor et al., 2019). Illness behavior was operationalized as any measure reflecting participants' evaluations and responses to bodily symptoms, regardless of whether these physical complaints were corroborated by an objective health measure The participants' adopted status, parent education and occupation, family type (adoptive or control), life events stress, age, doctor visits, sex, and middle childhood illnesses were controlled using regression analyses.

Results of The Study

The present study evaluated the extent to which middle childhood temperament traits predict adult illness behaviors assessed over a decade in the CAP. In this young adult sample, somatic complaints, sick days, and medication were used. Although small zero-order correlations were evident, child temperament did not significantly predict illness behavior in the multilevel path analyses. Adult temperament (emotionality-fearfulness), however, did predict higher levels of concurrent illness behavior, suggesting the importance of proximal, emotional trait influences. The results showed that there were factors of latent illness behavior in two adulthood assessments. Results of the multilevel path analyses showed that the higher the level of emotionality and fearfulness in adulthood (except in childhood temperament), the higher the level of illness behavior. These findings were similar in both assessments. The findings also showed that lower emotionality (fearfulness) partly influenced the impact of higher childhood sociability on adult illness behavior.

From the moment of conception, the child has a genetic load that he inherits from the parents and determines how the psycho-organic characteristics will be and also transmits some peculiarities that form the structure of his future personality. These genetic or inherited factors make each child react differently in his contact with the environment around him, that is, that he has his temperament. Childhood is a critical period for the integral and optimal development of physiological systems and this study contributes to understanding the mechanisms that can alter an individual's health throughout his life.


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, (2019). Accessed online from

Sisco-Taylor, B. L., Corley, R. P., Stallings, M. C., Wadsworth, S. J., & Reynolds, C. A. (2019). Temperament, childhood illness burden, and illness behavior in early adulthood. Health Psychology, 38(7), 648-657.

Cite this page

Essay Example: Background of Why the Study Was Done. (2023, Jul 23). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism