Date of Award
PhD Counseling Psychology
Professional Psychology and Family Therapy
Pamela Foley, Ph.D.
Christine Baker, Ph.D.
Karyn Smarz, Ph.D.
Thomas Massarelli, Ph.D.
adverse childhood experiences, trauma, children, mind-body connection, resilience
According to the United States National Statistics on Child Abuse, in 2017 Child Protective Service agencies in the United States received an estimated 4.1 million referrals involving approximately 7.5 million children. A substantial body of research has revealed that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have detrimental long-term effects on physical health and a large number of health conditions. However, little research exists regarding the effects of childhood maltreatment on childhood physical health. Identifying protective factors such as self-esteem can moderate the effects of ACEs, help children thrive, and potentially lower the risk of a variety of conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes in adulthood. The study’s findings can help change the trajectory of health risk markers in childhood prior to the progression to full-blown disease by positively impacting future health outcomes and decreasing the economic burden on society of adult illness. To fill in the gap in current literature, the following study examined the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and childhood physical health in a high risk, understudied pediatric population. The following research questions were presented: (1) What is the impact of adverse childhood experiences on childhood physical health? (2) Does self-esteem moderate the relationship between ACEs and physical health in welfare-involved children? (3) Do age and gender moderate the relationship between ACEs and physical health in welfare-involved children? In total, this research expands literature on adverse childhood experiences and explores the effects of resiliency on the impact of adverse childhood experiences and childhood physical health.
Gayle Smith, Shaneze, "Moderators To The Effects Of Childhood Traumatic Stress On Childhood Physical Health" (2022). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 3006.