Matching Items (6)

Childhood Trauma: The Single Greatest Unaddressed Public Health Threat

Description

Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) are defined as experiences during childhood that caused extensive stress and can include events such as abuse, disasters, violence, or neglect. These ACEs are shown to

Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) are defined as experiences during childhood that caused extensive stress and can include events such as abuse, disasters, violence, or neglect. These ACEs are shown to have great effects on the psychological as well as physiological well-being of the individual into adulthood, and have been linked to disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, obesity, alcoholism, hallucinations, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For this reason, ACEs have been considered "the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today" (Kalmakis & Chandler, 2015). Nurses are in a unique place in caring for individuals in which they can screen patients for adverse childhood experiences and trauma and teach strength-based resilience in order to interrupt this disease progression. As a part of our thesis, we created an educational module to inform nursing students of this study.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Exploration of Depression as a Mediating Mechanism between Trauma and Alcohol Problems

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Introduction: Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States, and is characterized by feeling sad or empty most of the day, nearly every day (American

Introduction: Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States, and is characterized by feeling sad or empty most of the day, nearly every day (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The experience of childhood trauma is one of many factors that may lead to depression, while trauma can also yield other adverse life outcomes, such as alcohol-related consequences (Felitti et al., 2001; Neumann, 2017). One of the specific aims of this investigation was to examine the direct influences of childhood trauma on depression. We also examined selected direct and indirect influences of childhood trauma on drinking outcomes through the potential mediating mechanism of depression. We examined three distinct drinking outcomes, 1) impaired control over drinking (i.e. the inability to stop drinking when intended), 2) heavy episodic drinking (four or more drinks on one occasion for men, four or more for women), and 3) alcohol-related problems. Methods: A survey was administered to 940 (466 women, 474 men) university students. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the data. Potential two- and three-path mediated effects were examined with the bias corrected bootstrap technique in Mplus (MacKinnon, 2008). Results: Emotional abuse was found to be positively associated with depression. In contrast, having an emotionally supportive family was found to be negatively associated with depression. Congruent with the Self-Medication Hypothesis, depression was found to be positively associated with impaired control over drinking. Physical neglect was found to be positively associated with impaired control. Lastly, emotional abuse was found to be indirectly linked to increased heavy episodic drinking and alcohol-related problems through depression and impaired control.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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The Relations Between Childhood Trauma, Cortisol Levels, and Pain Perceptions in Response to Induced Thermal Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients

Description

Childhood trauma has been linked to an increased risk of chronic pain in adulthood. One potential mechanism is via childhood trauma's impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) response to stress,

Childhood trauma has been linked to an increased risk of chronic pain in adulthood. One potential mechanism is via childhood trauma's impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) response to stress, reflected in changes in salivary cortisol levels (Nicolson et al., 2010). This study sought to determine the relations between childhood trauma, increases in cortisol levels following induced pain, and pain perceptions in adults with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. It drew on data collected from participants enrolled in an investigation comparing the effectiveness of behavioral treatments for chronic pain. Before receiving treatment, participants attended a laboratory session during which they first rested, and then were exposed to heat stimuli to assess pain threshold and tolerance. Saliva samples were collected from each participant immediately following the rest, and twice during pain induction. Fibromyalgia participants with a history of childhood trauma were expected: 1) to report lower pain threshold and tolerance levels (i.e., have higher pain sensitivity), 2) to exhibit a higher resting cortisol level, and 3) to have greater increases in cortisol in response to acute pain induction than fibromyalgia participants without a history of childhood trauma. Findings showed that childhood trauma scores were: 1) related to lower pain tolerance (but not pain threshold), 2) unrelated to resting cortisol levels, and 3) unrelated to changes in cortisol in response to pain induction and pain tolerance, contrary to prediction. However, a subtype of childhood trauma, i.e., emotional maltreatment: 1) predicted lower pain tolerance, and 2) moderated the cortisol changes over time in response to pain induction during the laboratory session in the expected direction. That is, individuals who reported higher levels of childhood emotional maltreatment showed greater cortisol responses to the pain induction than individuals who reported lower levels of exposure to emotional maltreatment. Cortisol responses did not relate to pain perception. Thus, childhood emotional trauma predicted greater pain sensitivity and cortisol reactivity, but cortisol did not relate to pain perception. The findings suggest that early childhood trauma predicts cortisol reactivity and pain sensitivity, but that cortisol reactivity is not a mediator in the trauma-pain relation.

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Date Created
  • 2013-12

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Fetal Androgen & Childhood Adversity: Relations with Self-Compassion, Compassion for Others, Empathy, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Susceptibility

Description

Fetal androgen exposure and childhood experiences are believed to contribute to the development and organization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes, which are responsible for the regulation and

Fetal androgen exposure and childhood experiences are believed to contribute to the development and organization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes, which are responsible for the regulation and release of stress and sex hormones, respectively. Evidence suggests the HPA and HPG axes can couple in response to childhood adversity, and that hormonal dysregulation contributes to psychopathological disorders such as anxiety and depression. Recent research also suggests self-compassion interventions could reduce PTSD symptoms, and that the experience of childhood trauma is related to increased empathy. Still, little is known regarding the impact of fetal androgen exposure on PTSD susceptibility and the relationships between self-compassion, compassion for others, and empathy. The current study aims to determine whether fetal androgen exposure mitigates PTSD susceptibility, and to clarify the relationships between empathy, compassion for others, self-compassion, and PTSD symptoms. A sample of 208 adults completed an online survey designed to measure fetal androgen exposure, childhood maltreatment, self-compassion, compassion for others, empathy, and PTSD symptoms. Findings show a significant difference in PTSD symptoms between individuals in high and low fetal androgen exposure groups, and significant correlations were discovered between empathy and compassion for others, empathy and self-compassion, but not compassion for others and self-compassion. Future studies could explore the extent to which fetal androgen exposure influences PTSD symptom susceptibility and the clinical implications therein.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Preschool Teacher Training on Trauma and Resilience

Description

Childhood traumatic experiences are a prevalent public health issue. Children exposed to trauma often exhibit behaviors that make educating them challenging. Preschool teachers at a southwestern United States preschool receive

Childhood traumatic experiences are a prevalent public health issue. Children exposed to trauma often exhibit behaviors that make educating them challenging. Preschool teachers at a southwestern United States preschool receive no training related to childhood trauma and resilience. The purpose of this project was to educate preschool teachers on trauma and resilience to improve attitude related to educating children with trauma.

Following Arizona State University Internal Review Board approval, preschool teachers were recruited from a non-profit metropolitan preschool. Project included two pre-training questionnaires (Adult Resilience Measure-Revised [ARM-R] and Attitudes Related to Trauma Informed Care scale [ARTIC]), one two-hour training via Zoom on childhood trauma and resilience, and post-training ARTIC questionnaire at two and six weeks.

Seven teachers (n=7) participated in pre-training questionnaires, and three of these teachers (n=3) participated in both post-training questionnaires. All participating teachers were female and Caucasian. Average age of participants was 49.43 years (SD=8.40, range 36-60), and experience average was 17.17 years (SD=10.15, range 3-30). AMR-R average score was 72.29 (SD=8.28, range 61-83). Pre-training ARTIC score average was 3.87 (SD=0.16). Post-training ARTIC scores at two weeks and six weeks post-training were 3.65 (SD=0.22) and 3.86 (SD=0.25).

Clinical significance included improved teacher awareness of childhood trauma and improved ability to interact with children exposed to trauma. Teachers exhibited high resilience scores. Additional research needed related to further address educating preschool teachers related to trauma informed care, related to building resilience in children, and related to the impact of teacher resilience on trauma informed care.

Keywords: teacher training, adverse childhood experiences, ACEs, childhood trauma, resilience

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Date Created
  • 2021-04-12

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Impulsivity and the experience of childhood trauma on the effect of psychological maladjustment

Description

Research in the area of childhood trauma has shown a substantial amount of psychological maladjustment following the experience of traumatic events in childhood. Trauma survivors are at risk for developing

Research in the area of childhood trauma has shown a substantial amount of psychological maladjustment following the experience of traumatic events in childhood. Trauma survivors are at risk for developing a multitude of adverse psychological outcomes as well as unsafe behaviors following the event of trauma. One unifying theme within these psychological sequelae is the nature of impulsive behaviors. Delay-discounting refers to the subjective decrease in value of a reward when its presentation is delayed. Delay-discounting is often used as an index of impulsive behavior. This study poses two primary questions: 1) Can childhood trauma predict rates of delay-discounting? 2) Could delay-discounting predict psychological maladjustment for individuals who have experienced childhood trauma? This study will seek to answer these questions using an online version of the Kirby et al., 1999 hypothetical delay-discounting method, as well as the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), to measure trait impulsivity. Measures of depression (BDI-II), life events (LEC), post-traumatic stress (PCL-C), and drug and alcohol abuse (DAST-20) will also be included. Participants included a sample of university students ages 18-52 (n=521, females = 386, males = 135) with a mean age of 25.19 years. Results indicated that childhood trauma was not a significant predictor of delay-discounting rate, nor was delay-discounting rate a significant predictor of psychological maladjustment. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2012