There is groundbreaking research happening on the campus of ABAC. Agricultural Education students, Sydney Conley and Audrey Hawk have created and are currently circulating a survey under the faculty guidance of Associate Professor of Education, Dr. Amy Warren.

     The survey measures Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) amongst college students in an attempt to correlate higher scores with behaviors that include: low-grade point average, personal health, alcohol consumption, illicit drug use and what could be defined as risk-taking behaviors or tendencies.

     The survey spans 35 questions; ACE scores are calculated via response to the first ten, the following 25 questions are geared towards the college demographic. The survey is completely anonymous and administered through the Qualtrics Software Company, and it has also been Institutional Review Board approved.

     The research piggybacks off of previous surveys administered by the Center for Disease Control to large scale test groups but is groundbreaking in that it addresses a college audience. According to Dr. Amy Warren, “there is very little in the current literature looking into the ACE scores of college students, and even more specifically, rural college students, or students that are from a rural area.” This survey attempts to shed light on a forgotten demographic and could be a crucial contributor to the ongoing research of long-term health outcomes in association with childhood trauma.

     According to Audrey Hawk, childhood trauma should be looked at in broader terms than what the traditional connotation implies, “people don’t normally think of childhood trauma as including parental separation or divorce, the death or absence of loved ones, and other things that we now consider to be commonplace in the American household; these events can greatly impact children over the course of their life and can contribute to psychological and societal struggles in adulthood.”

     For Sydney Conley, this research may lead to the breaking of cycles of abuse, “This research is important because it brings attention to our community, the rural community and the college student. I am hoping that by participating in this survey it may lead people to seek assistance in their struggles and could eventually help in the breaking of cycles and behaviors learned in the household.”

     Data collected from the survey, pending acceptance, will be presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at Kennesaw State University in April of this year.

Scan the QR Code below to take the survey on mobile.

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