Growing up fast: stress exposure and subjective weathering in emerging adulthood
We examine “subjective weathering” among females entering adulthood, using three waves of a national study. Subjective weathering is a social psychological component of aging that is associated with “physical weathering” previously observed in research on physical health. We examine the influence of stressors from childhood and adolescence on subjective weathering and depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood. Childhood abuse is associated with early menarche, as anticipated in research on physical weathering. Early menarche and child abuse are in turn associated with intimate partner violence exposure in adolescence. Both early menarche and intimate partner violence are associated with early parenthood and diminish the likelihood of high school graduation. These experiences culminate in subjective weathering associated with depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood. Our findings connect physical and subjective weathering within the stress process paradigm.