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Article

The Direct and Indirect Influences of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Physical Health: A Cross-Sectional Study

1
Institute of Legal Medicine, Government of the Principality of Asturias, 33001 Asturias, Spain
2
Department of Psychology, University of Oviedo, 33003 Oviedo, Spain
3
Mental Health Services of the Principality of Asturias, 33201 Asturias, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228507
Received: 29 October 2020 / Revised: 13 November 2020 / Accepted: 15 November 2020 / Published: 17 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Health Care Sciences & Services)
A growing and significant body of research has documented the close relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and health outcomes in adults. Less is known about the complex pathways through which ACEs exert their influence. This article examines the direct relationship between the quality of perceived physical health and childhood adversities. The association between the adversities and the physical health with other psychological and social variables is also analyzed. Data were collected from a sample of 170 subjects, using tools to assess adverse childhood experiences, physical health-related quality of life, socioeconomic vulnerability, emotion regulation, coping strategies, attachment, and social support. Results showed a high frequency of ACEs among the adult population, and the correlation with poor physical health was highly significant. Regression equations to predict physical health also revealed the following as significant variables: wishful thinking, social withdrawal, and cognitive restructuring as coping styles; reappraisal to achieve emotion regulation; fear of rejection or abandonment, and desire for closeness in relation to attachment figures; hardship; and poor financial support. The relationship between the different forms of ACE and social vulnerability identifies the important indirect contribution of childhood adversity to health and socioeconomic conditions in adulthood. View Full-Text
Keywords: adverse childhood experiences; quality of life; physical health; social vulnerability; emotion regulation; coping strategies; attachment; social support adverse childhood experiences; quality of life; physical health; social vulnerability; emotion regulation; coping strategies; attachment; social support
MDPI and ACS Style

Martín-Higarza, Y.; Fontanil, Y.; Méndez, M.D.; Ezama, E. The Direct and Indirect Influences of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Physical Health: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8507. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228507

AMA Style

Martín-Higarza Y, Fontanil Y, Méndez MD, Ezama E. The Direct and Indirect Influences of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Physical Health: A Cross-Sectional Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(22):8507. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228507

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martín-Higarza, Yolanda, Yolanda Fontanil, María D. Méndez, and Esteban Ezama. 2020. "The Direct and Indirect Influences of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Physical Health: A Cross-Sectional Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 22: 8507. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228507

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