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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

Studies to examine how adverse childhood events impact adult health have been pioneered by Vincent Felitti (1998) and replicated time and time again. However, the extant literature has given little attention to the role of culture in experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE's) and understanding their impact. In the few studies examining racial differences, White children have been found to have a lower ACE score compared to non-White children (Maguire-Jack, Lanier, & Lombardi, 2019), and Black and Hispanic children have been exposed to two or more adversities than their White counterparts (Slopen, et. al., 2016). Mersky and Janczewski (2018) also found significant ethnic differences in their sample. The current study aims to add to this growing body of work by examining ACE's among students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, in a private, religious, university sample. Results show there is no statistically significant difference between the racial groups when it comes to individual ACEs as well as the ACEs total score. The mental health variable was the only ACE where there was found significant differences amongst the racial groups. Implications for culturally informed prevention and early intervention implications for various stakeholders, such as schools and health care settings will be discussed.

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