The Influence of Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences on Young People’s Mental Health and Experiences of Self Harm and Suicidal Ideation

Lisa Bunting, Claire Mccartan, Gavin Davidson, Anne Grant, Ciaran Mulholland, Dirk Schubotz, ryan hamill , Orla McBride, M Shevlin, Jamie Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
171 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Few studies have examined the interaction of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and positive childhood experiences (PCEs) with mental health outcomes in nationally representative European populations.
Objective: The primary objective was to test models of resilience through investigating associations between ACEs and PCEs and young people’s risk of common mood and anxiety disorders, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Participants and setting: Data were from the Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Survey (NIYWS), a stratified random probability household survey conducted between June 2019 and March 2020. Analysis is based on data from adolescents aged 11-19 years (n = 1299).
Method: Logistic regression was used to test the direct effects of ACEs and PCEs on mental health outcomes and the moderating effect of PCEs at different levels of ACE exposure.
Results: Prevalence rates of mental health outcomes were: common mood and anxiety disorders (16%); self-harm (10%); suicidal ideation (12%). ACEs and PCEs both independently predicted common mood and anxiety disorders, self-harm and suicidal ideation. Every additional ACE increased the likelihood of a common mood and anxiety disorder (81%), self-harm (88%) and suicidal ideation (88%). Every additional PCE reduced common mood and anxiety disorders (14%), self-harm (13%) and suicidal ideation (7%). There was no moderating effect of PCEs on ACEs and mental health outcomes.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that PCEs act largely independently of ACEs and that initiatives to increase PCEs can assist in the prevention of mental health problems. Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences; Positive Childhood Experiences; Resilience; child maltreatment; prevalence survey; mental health; self-harm; suicidal ideation
Original languageEnglish
Article number 106159
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume140
Early online date5 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Firstly, we are grateful for all the parents and young people who participated in this study and who generously shared their time with the research team. This survey was commissioned and funded by the Social Care Directorate (Children's Services and Think Family NI), Health and Social Care Board and we are particularly grateful for the work of Catriona Rooney (Commissioning Lead (CAMHS), NI Health and Social Care Board) who was instrumental in making this study possible. The Prevalence Study Project Board, chaired by Martin Quinn (NI Health and Social Care Board), and the International Advisory Group assisted the team from the study's inception and offered their expertise and valued advice at each stage of the project. We would like to thank them for their hard work and contribution to this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Child maltreatment
  • Mental health
  • Positive childhood experiences
  • Prevalence survey
  • Resilience
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences on Young People’s Mental Health and Experiences of Self Harm and Suicidal Ideation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this