School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
adverse childhood experiences, Christianity, health risk factors, disease conditions, physical health
Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychology
Smith, Chantel Monet, "The Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Leading Causes of Death In Adults- The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study on Christian Adults" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4603.
Prior research has examined the varying frequencies, risk factors, and impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on various populations. There is little to no empirical research, however, on the frequencies, risk factors, and impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Christians specifically. As a result, it is uncertain if psychological practices, policies, or existing psychoeducation is applicable to Christians impacted by ACEs. Through a quantitative survey method design, this study examined the relationship between ACEs, health risk factors, disease conditions, and physical health, as studied in the original ACE study, in a sample of Christian adults. Specifically, a sample of 148 adults from a private Christian University electronically completed an anonymous survey, which included demographic, ACE, health risk factors, disease conditions, and a physical health question. Using a two tailed analysis, descriptive and correlational statistics were analyzed using SPSS. Ninety percent of the sample of Christian adults has at least one ACE, 50% reported four or more ACEs, and 64.2% reported three or more ACEs. Participants of this study reported a mean of 4.05 and mode of 3 ACEs (SD= 2.826). There was a statistically significant relationship between ACEs and health risk factors, as well as between ACEs and physical health for this sample, however, there was not a statistically significant relationship between ACEs and disease conditions in the same sample. Studying Christians’ exposure to ACEs and the impact of this exposure on Christian individual’s health is critical to the field of psychology by showing how a faith-based population demonstrates common outcomes of ACEs. This has implications for future research, public health policy, community and parenting education, and clinical practice that may directly benefit Christians.