Objectives: We aimed to determine how universities can tailor delivery of stress-related interventions and intervention-related messages for students with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Method: We assessed 762 undergraduates (76% female; average age = 20.3) on an expanded ACEs measure, stress, health, and past use of interventions and what types of interventions they would like to cope with stress. We also experimentally manipulated websites advertising mental health services to test whether certain message frames and types of intervention delivery would appeal differentially to students with more ACEs. Results: ACEs were associated with worse health, more stress, and a greater likelihood of having used health-related interventions. Students with more ACEs were more willing to try the interventions on the websites, regardless of messaging and type of delivery. They also expressed a greater desire for face-to-face interactions centered on mental health. Conclusions: School-wide adoption of ACE-informed policies can change lifelong trajectories of students with ACEs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Alexandra Mueller, Mehdi Khan, Meghan Majors, Andrew Johnston for their help with the study. The study had no sources of funding. Scientific editing by Sarra Nazem.
- adverse childhood experiences
- message framing
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article