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Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

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Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been studied for the last two decades and are associated with a large number of mental health problems. However, existing research has yet to explore the underlying mechanisms that might affect the relationship between ACEs and mental health outcomes, particularly in terms of contextual influence. The present study examined the individual and conjoint effects of ACEs, coping, and campus climate on depressive and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, exploring the moderating effects of coping and campus climate among a diverse sample of young adults. In addition to that, racial/ethnic identity and gender/sexual identity were tested as a potential moderator in the relationship among ACEs, coping strategies, campus climate and mental health outcomes, in which the relationship was hypothesized to be different depending on one’s identity. Data for this study were collected from 423 college students who completed a set of questionnaires. The survey assessed socio-demographic variables, ACEs, coping strategies, campus climate, depressive, and PTSD symptoms. By examining the effects of ACEs, campus climate, coping, and individual identity on mental health outcomes simultaneously, the study results suggest that coping and campus climate moderate the relationship between ACEs and PTSD, and it varies depending on individual identity. The findings highlight the importance of culturally sensitive and appropriate interventions and services for diverse college students who are at elevated risk for the development of mental health problems.


First Advisor

Maria M. Galano