2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Childhood Trauma and Resilience: A Look at the Impact of Protective Factors

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jennifer Weaver


The research question probes whether having a positive relationship with a supportive adult and a perceived sense of belonging to one’s community contributes to resilience in adulthood, and whether these protective factors can buffer negative outcomes associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as depressive symptoms, anxiety, and poor health. It is hypothesized that having a positive relationship with a supportive adult, as well as a high sense of community belongingness will relate to higher levels of resilience. It is also hypothesized that higher levels of these factors (supportive adult and community belongingness) will buffer individuals from the negative mental and physical health outcomes associated with higher ACEs scores. The current study consists of data collected from 200 college students enrolled at a public university. The data suggests that participants’ who experienced a supportive adult in childhood tend to have higher resilience levels in adulthood. Participants with higher ACEs scores and resilience scores also had higher levels of anxiety. Female participants showed a stronger significance with higher ACEs and resilience scores and higher levels of anxiety. Female participants also showed a strong significance with higher ACEs scores and higher levels of depressive symptoms. Moreover, female participants showed higher resilience scores but lower general health. Lastly, there was no significance or interaction found between protective factors mediating participants' well-being that have higher ACEs scores. In conclusion, this study emphasizes the vital role of supportive relationships and community belongingness in increasing resilience against the negative impacts of adverse childhood experiences.

This document is currently not available here.