Emerging adulthood is often-overlooked in current gastrointestinal (GI) health research; however, epidemiological evidence suggests that GI disorders are increasing in this population. The purpose of this study was to first define common GI symptom subgroups within emerging adults and then to characterize these group differences with key biopsychosocial factors encompassing diet, depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as physical and social functioning related to quality of life. A total of 956 emerging adults from a southeastern US university were surveyed on GI symptoms, psychosocial factors, and demographics. Latent class analysis uncovered three statistically significant GI symptom patterns within the sample identified by the degree of severity: Normal (n=649), Mild (n=257), and Moderate (n=50). This study demonstrated that significant impairment in GI functioning emerges at much earlier ages that are commonly assumed. In addition, these GI symptom levels were associated with important biopsychosocial factors. Assessing GI functioning in emerging adults may provide important insights into understanding the development of FGIDs.
Cassisi, Jeffrey E.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Vivier, Helize, "Determining Common Patterns of Gastrointestinal Health in Emerging Adults: A Latent Class Analysis Approach" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 461.