Adverse Childhood Experiences in Medical Students

Implications for Wellness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The primary purpose of the study was to assess the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in a cohort of third-year medical students and characterize their childhood protective factors. Methods: The authors developed a web-based anonymous survey distributed to all third-year medical students in one school (N = 98). The survey included the 10-item ACE Study questionnaire, a list of childhood protective factors (CPF) and questions to assess students’ perception of the impact of ACEs on their physical and mental health. The medical school’s IRB approved the student survey as an exempt study. The authors computed descriptive and comparative statistical analyses. Results: Eighty-six of 98 students responded (88% response rate). Forty-four students (51%) reported at least one ACE exposure and 10 (12%) reported ≥ 4 exposures. The latter were all female. The average difference in the ACE score between male and female medical students was − 1.1 (independent t test with unequal variances t(57.7) = − 2.82, P =.007). Students with an ACE score of ≥ 4 were significantly more likely to report a moderate or significant effect on their mental health, compared with students with scores ≤ 3 (chi-square test, P = <.0001). Most students reported high levels of CPF (median score = 13 of a maximum score = 14). ACEs and CPF were inversely associated (Pearson correlation = − 0.32, P =.003). Conclusions: A sizeable minority of medical students reported exposure to multiple ACEs. If replicated, findings suggest a significant vulnerability of these medical students to health risk behaviors and physical and mental health problems during training and future medical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2019

Fingerprint

Medical Students
medical student
childhood
Students
experience
Mental Health
student
mental health
Research Ethics Committees
Chi-Square Distribution
Risk-Taking
Medical Schools
medical practice
health risk
health behavior
Protective Factors
Surveys and Questionnaires
risk behavior
Health
school

Keywords

  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Burnout
  • Depression
  • Medical student resilience
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Adverse Childhood Experiences in Medical Students : Implications for Wellness. / Sciolla, Andres F; Wilkes, Michael S; Griffin, Erin J.

In: Academic Psychiatry, Vol. 43, No. 4, 15.08.2019, p. 369-374.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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