Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Rice

Second Advisor

Dr. Therese Pigott

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Ashby

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Han Na Suh


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously released a statement calling for researchers to undertake research initiatives that shed light on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on health and mental health outcomes and to work towards ACE prevention and treatment (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). ACEs have also been documented to predict symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD; Ferrara & Panlilio, 2020). One potential important implication of ACEs and PTSD is cognitive impairment. Extant literature suggests that experiencing ACEs predicts cognitive struggle. Aglan et al. (2010) demonstrated that individuals with a history of childhood sexual abuse displayed marked memory issues, and Malarbi et al. (2017) found that people with ACEs history had worse cognition than people who did not have a history of ACEs. Certainly, psychologists need to understand the effect of ACEs on college student experiences. In the present study, a meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the association between ACEs and PTSD in undergraduate students. Further, this study investigates the measurement invariance of an extended ACEs measure, whether relational ACEs are more strongly associated with PTSD than non-relational ACEs, and relations between ACES, PTSD, grade point average (GPA), and working memory.


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