Adverse Childhood Experiences and Negative Outcomes in Early Adulthood

Teresa Rushe, Perla Fletes-Houston, Donna Redmond

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are associated with a range of negative neurodevelopmental outcomes in adulthood, including psychosis in its clinical and sub-clinical forms, as well as substance misuse. The purpose of the study was to explore the link between ACEs and negative outcomes including behavioural inhibition, sub-clinical psychotic features (schizotypy) and substance use in a community sample of young adults, and to further investigate whether drug use of positive relationships with parents growing up mediated associations. The study employed a cross-sectional survey design, using online survey methodology to recruit a Northern Irish sample of young adults (n=152), aged 18-25 years. Results supported previous research in that a strong positive associations between adversity and drug use were found, but the association between adversity and schizotypy was only significant for females. We found some evidence that the association between ACEs and Schizotypy was partially mediated by drug use. The cross-sectional nature of the study limits discussion of causal influences but the consistency of our findings to that in clinical populations strengthens the validity of the analogue approach to understanding the development of psychosis. If, as the data suggests, drug use re part of a process through which ACEs predict schizotypy, then this could be a worth-while target area for intervention strategies in those at high risk for developing psychosis and related disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016
EventInternational Society for Developmental Psychology - California, San Diego, United States
Duration: 08 Nov 201611 Nov 2016


ConferenceInternational Society for Developmental Psychology
Abbreviated titleISDP
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


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