Scarbrough, S., Barile, J. P., Smith, A. R., 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

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are almost exclusively researched and addressed at the level of the individual. The large majority of the research on ACEs has focused on individuals’ histories, coping skills, and distal outcomes such as chronic mental and physical health conditions. Few studies have addressed the potential compounding of risk factors that are common amongst individuals who experienced ACEs. By adulthood, these risk factors may increase the chances of them living in communities that are rife with violence, a lack of trust, and general social decay. Moreover, few studies have examined the impact that social determinants of health, including county level conditions, have on the health and well-being of individuals with a history of ACEs. This study seeks to garner a better understanding of the impact that these environments have on associations among ACEs, emotional support, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) by utilizing data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Results from this study suggest that the associations between ACEs and emotional support, and the association between emotional support and HRQOL are dependent upon the social environment in which individuals live. These findings also suggest that in order for individuals to best benefit from their available social supports, aspects of the social environment must also be considered. Consideration of these findings would likely improve individual-level focused interventions aimed at improving the lives of adults with a history of ACEs.