impairments in terms of response inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and
attention have been established within the literature as a consequence of exposure
to chronic stress or trauma. The current
study evaluated the effects of both potentially traumatic and stressful life
events upon neuropsychological and psychological functioning using a sample of
129 undergraduate college students. Results indicate that, consistent with past literature, college students
who had experience increase traumatic and life stressors had increased symptoms
of depression, perceived stress, trait anxiety, and post-traumatic stress,
interpersonal types of trauma were associated with increased psychological
difficulties compared to no trauma controls but non-interpersonal types of
trauma were not different from controls.
Neuropsychological functioning, however, did not differ according to the
number of traumatic or stressful experiences reported, type of trauma, level of
distress, or frequency and duration of trauma. These results may suggest that neurocognitive functioning of college
students may be resilient to the damaging effects of stress and trauma.
the link between adverse experiences in childhood and physical health in
adulthood is well established, there is a dearth of research addressing this
relationship in college students.
College students are younger, with college entry creating a window of
time for health behaviors to solidify or change. Age also relates to the emergence of physical
health problems. The consequences of health-risk behaviors initiated in early
adulthood are likely to manifest later in life as mid and late ago-of-onset
diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Emerging adulthood offers an opportunity to identify and address
maladaptive behaviors and the early experiences that shape behavioral
patterns. Individuation from ones’
family of origin, along with the formation of self-identity and behavioral
pattern, offers a unique opportunity for intervention and change in a college
student population. This research
project examines the prevalence of ACEs in college students, as well as the
relationship between exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs),
health-risk behaviors, and physical health in college students. Implications for working with students who
have a maltreatment history in academic, therapeutic and administrative
capacities are discussed.