The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study reports that childhood adversity is relatively common, often co-occurs with multiple types of exposures, and has a dose-response relationship to many leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. Although there have been mixed results regarding whether ethnicity moderates these health effects, there is evidence that Caribbean and African American ethnic groups may respond to ACEs differently than other ethnic groups. Discrimination may explain this effect moderation, as it has been consistently linked to negative mental health outcomes. Specifically, ACEs exposure may hinder mental health outcomes, and chronic discrimination exposure in minority ethnic groups may compound that effect on mental health. Therefore, the present study examined the relationship between ACEs, discrimination, and mental health after controlling for age, gender, financial difficulty in childhood, financial difficulty in the last three years, and education in Caribbean Americans, African Americans, and European Americans. Results indicate that discrimination moderates the relationship between ACEs and mental health and that discrimination moderated the relationship between ethnicity and mental health. These findings suggest that targeted early intervention is needed to address compound stress exposure and that research should continue to parse out the role that cultural influences play in mental health outcomes.
School of Behavioral Health
Morton, Kelly R.
Neece, Cameron L.
Wilson, Colwick M.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
African Americans; Adaptation, Psychological; Social Discrimination; Child; West Indian Americans;
Subject - Local
Adverse Childhood Experiences Study; Childhood adversity; Mental Health Outcomes;
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Mathis, Maleia, "The Effect of Discrimination on Mental Health after Adverse Childhood Experiences" (2017). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 465.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives