Title of Abstract

Examining Adversity and Protective Factors in College Students’ Lives

Submitting Student(s)

Kayla Thomas

Session Title

Vulnerable Populations 2

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Kori Bloomquist, M.S.W., Ph.D.; Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.; Sarah Hopkins, M.S.W., & Monique Constance-Huggins, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Social Work

Abstract

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that an individual experiences before the age of 18. These experiences can include being abused or neglected, experiencing or witnessing violence, growing up in a household with a person who has substance abuse or mental health problems, or living in a household with divorced parents. Adverse childhood experiences can significantly impact a person mentally, physically, emotionally, and developmentally. However, research has shown that protective factors at the individual, familial, or community level can contribute to resilience, or the ability to handle and adapt to adverse and stressful events. Examples of protective factors include intrinsic motivation, positive and present family members, and community support. Protective factors can outweigh or create buffers against the adversities that individuals have faced. This cross-sectional, exploratory study examines the types of adversity and protective factors traditional-aged college students report in their lives. Survey data collected with undergraduate students from a southeastern university indicate nuanced results. Findings regarding risk and protective factors as well as perceptions of academic success and college connectedness have implications for high school and college support services and programming.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Examining Adversity and Protective Factors in College Students’ Lives

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that an individual experiences before the age of 18. These experiences can include being abused or neglected, experiencing or witnessing violence, growing up in a household with a person who has substance abuse or mental health problems, or living in a household with divorced parents. Adverse childhood experiences can significantly impact a person mentally, physically, emotionally, and developmentally. However, research has shown that protective factors at the individual, familial, or community level can contribute to resilience, or the ability to handle and adapt to adverse and stressful events. Examples of protective factors include intrinsic motivation, positive and present family members, and community support. Protective factors can outweigh or create buffers against the adversities that individuals have faced. This cross-sectional, exploratory study examines the types of adversity and protective factors traditional-aged college students report in their lives. Survey data collected with undergraduate students from a southeastern university indicate nuanced results. Findings regarding risk and protective factors as well as perceptions of academic success and college connectedness have implications for high school and college support services and programming.