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Adverse childhood experiences and sources of childhood resilience: A retrospective study of their combined relationships with child health and educational attendance

Bellis, MA, Hughes, K, Ford, K, Hardcastle, KA, Sharp, CA, Wood, S, Homolova, L and Davies, A (2018) Adverse childhood experiences and sources of childhood resilience: A retrospective study of their combined relationships with child health and educational attendance. BMC Public Health, 18 (1). ISSN 1471-2458

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Open Access URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5699-8 (Published Version)


Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) including maltreatment and exposure to household stressors can impact the health of children. Community factors that provide support, friendship and opportunities for development may build children's resilience and protect them against some harmful impacts of ACEs. We examine if a history of ACEs is associated with poor childhood health and school attendance and the extent to which such outcomes are counteracted by community resilience assets. Methods: A national (Wales) cross-sectional retrospective survey (n = 2452) using a stratified random probability sampling methodology and including a boost sample (n = 471) of Welsh speakers. Data collection used face-to-face interviews at participants' places of residence. Outcome measures were self-reported poor childhood health, specific conditions (asthma, allergies, headaches, digestive disorders) and school absenteeism. Results: Prevalence of each common childhood condition, poor childhood health and school absenteeism increased with number of ACEs reported. Childhood community resilience assets (being treated fairly, supportive childhood friends, being given opportunities to use your abilities, access to a trusted adult and having someone to look up to) were independently linked to better outcomes. In those with ≥4 ACEs the presence of all significant resilience assets (vs none) reduced adjusted prevalence of poor childhood health from 59.8 to 21.3%. Conclusions: Better prevention of ACEs through the combined actions of public services may reduce levels of common childhood conditions, improve school attendance and help alleviate pressures on public services. Whilst the eradication of ACEs remains unlikely, actions to strengthen community resilience assets may partially offset their immediate harms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Retrospective Studies; Cross-Sectional Studies; Absenteeism; Schools; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Middle Aged; Child; Wales; Female; Male; Resilience, Psychological; Young Adult; Child Health; Adverse Childhood Experiences; Adverse childhood experiences; Asthma; Digestive diseases; Resilience; School attendance; Absenteeism; Adolescent; Adult; Adverse Childhood Experiences; Aged; Child; Child Health; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Resilience, Psychological; Retrospective Studies; Schools; Wales; Young Adult; 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: BioMed Central
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 12:12
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2022 12:12
DOI or ID number: 10.1186/s12889-018-5699-8
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18480
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