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Mediators of the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Symptoms of Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidality among Adults


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are consistently found to be negatively associated with physical, psychological, and psychosocial well-being throughout the lifespan. While previous research has established risk factors and noxious outcomes arising post-ACEs, less attention has been given to factors such as resilience, perceived social support, and subjective well-being that may help explain the relationship between ACEs and psychopathology. Hence, the objectives of this study are to examine: (1) the relationships among ACEs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and suicidality in adulthood, and (2) whether resilience, social support, and subjective well-being mediate the relationship between ACEs and psychopathological symptoms. Cross-sectional data on ACEs, psychological factors, potential mediating variables, and sociodemographic factors were collected from a community sample of adults aged 18–81 (N = 296) via an on-line survey. Endorsing ACEs was significantly and positively correlated with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Results of parallel mediation analyses showed that social support, negative affect, and life satisfaction statistically mediated the relationships between ACEs and psychopathological outcomes in adulthood. These results highlight the importance of identifying potential mediators of the ACEs-psychopathological symptoms relationship to aid in the development of screening and intervention practices that could bolster developmental outcomes following traumatic childhood experiences.

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As per the study protocol approved by Fordham University's Institutional Review Board and the privacy and confidentiality regulations shared with participants in the informed consent form, data are only accessible by the study authors and their affiliated research team.


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Funding for this project was provided by a Fordham College Lincoln Center Dean’s Undergraduate Research grant to VK.

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Correspondence to Karen L. Siedlecki.

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Kobrinsky, V., Siedlecki, K.L. Mediators of the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Symptoms of Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidality among Adults. Journ Child Adol Trauma (2022).

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  • ACEs
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidality
  • Resilience
  • Social Support
  • SWB