Relationships between childhood adversity and life functioning in US college students: Risk and resilience

Addie N. Merians, Emily Mischel, Patricia Frazier, Katherine A Lust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: We examined the relationships between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and measures of mental health, academic achievement, and consequences of alcohol use, and moderators of these associations. We hypothesized that most students with high (3+) ACEs scores would be resilient on at least one measure but that few would be resilient on all measures. Additionally, we expected that greater social support and coping self-efficacy would buffer the association between ACEs and outcomes.Participants and methods: Secondary analysis of survey data from undergraduate students collected in 2015 (N = 8,997) and 2018 (N = 7,924).Results: The majority of students with high ACEs scores were resilient on each measure; 34% were resilient across all three. More students without ACEs were resilient on each measure and across all measures. Higher coping self-efficacy buffered the association between ACEs and poorer mental health.Conclusions: Research on ACEs in students should acknowledge resilience and risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of American College Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • college students
  • mental health
  • resilience

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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