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Measuring the relationships between adverse childhood experiences and educational and employment success in England and Wales: findings from a retrospective study

Hardcastle, K, Bellis, MA, Ford, K, Hughes, K, Garner, J and Ramos Rodriguez, G (2018) Measuring the relationships between adverse childhood experiences and educational and employment success in England and Wales: findings from a retrospective study. Public Health, 165. pp. 106-116. ISSN 0033-3506

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Open Access URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2018.09.014 (Published version)


Objectives: Educational and employment outcomes are critical elements in determining the life course of individuals, yet through health and other mechanisms, those who suffer adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may experience barriers to achieve in these domains. This study examines the association between ACEs and poor educational outcomes, before considering the impact of ACEs and education on employment in adulthood. Study design: Retrospective cross-sectional surveys were conducted in England and Wales using a random stratified sampling methodology. Methods: During face-to-face household interviews (n = 2881), data were collected on demographic factors, ACEs, self-rated childhood affluence, the highest qualification level attained and the current employment status. Results: While respondents with ≥4 ACEs were significantly more likely to have no formal qualifications (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.18; P < 0.001), among those who did achieve secondary level qualifications, the presence of ACEs did not further impact subsequent likelihood of going on to attain college or higher qualifications. However, results suggest a persisting independent impact of high (≥4) ACEs, which were found to be significantly associated with both current unemployment (AOR = 2.52, P < 0.001) and long-term sickness and disability (AOR = 3.94, P < 0.001). Modelled levels of not being in employment ranged from as little as 3% among those with 0 or 1 ACE and higher qualifications to 62% among those with no qualifications and ≥4 ACEs (adjusted for age, gender and childhood affluence effects). Conclusions: Compulsory education may play a pivotal role in mitigating the effects of adversity, supporting the case for approaches within schools that build resilience and tackle educational inequalities. However, adults with ACEs should not be overlooked and efforts should be considered to support them in achieving meaningful employment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Retrospective Studies; Cross-Sectional Studies; Adult; Middle Aged; Educational Status; Employment; England; Wales; Female; Male; Surveys and Questionnaires; Adverse Childhood Experiences; ACEs; Education; Employment; Qualifications; Resilience; Self-efficacy; Adult; Adverse Childhood Experiences; Cross-Sectional Studies; Educational Status; Employment; England; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Retrospective Studies; Surveys and Questionnaires; Wales; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Elsevier BV
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 12:10
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2022 12:10
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.puhe.2018.09.014
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18478
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