Smith, A. R., Barile, J. P., Scarbrough, S., Ford, D. C., Merrick, M. T., & Thompson, W. W.
Society for Community Research and Action 2015 Biennial Conference: Celebrating 50 Years of Community Psychology: Bridging Past and Future, Lowell, M.A.
Publication year: 2015

This study investigated the moderating effects of gender and culture influences on the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and emotional support in adulthood. Additionally, it will examine whether the association between emotional support and health-related quality of life are dependent upon individuals’ gender, culture, age, and history of ACEs. ACEs are frequently associated with lower mental and physical health outcomes in adulthood, and this association has been found to be mediated by emotional support (Barile et al., 2014). However, the strength of the associations between ACE, emotional support, and HRQOL may depend on individuals’ unique experiences and cultural background. For instance, although both men and women encounter ACEs, women are more likely than men to seek out emotional support (Tamres, Janicki & Helgeson, 2002), which suggests that gender may affect both ability to achieve emotional support and adult HRQOL. Furthermore, a better understanding of culture and it’s influences and age related changes that may influence the relationship between ACEs, emotional support, and HRQOL may aid in the development of secondary prevention. We tested these associations utilizing structural equation modeling techniques based on data from the 2010 BRFSS. Our findings suggest that individual-level interventions that focus on emotional support as a protective factor for individuals who have experienced child maltreatment should consider assessing and accounting for the impact of moderating effects of gender, culture and age on their ability to garner emotional support and their impact on HRQOL.