The association of adverse childhood experiences with mid-life depressive symptoms and quality of life among incarcerated males: Exploring multiple mediation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To explore the association of experiencing death, trauma, and abuse during childhood with depressive symptoms and quality of life at mid-life among incarcerated men and to understand how current social support and coping strategies mediate the impact of childhood trauma histories on mental health.Methods: Study participants were 192 male inmates in a maximum security prison. Participants completed measures of adverse childhood experiences related to death, trauma, and abuse, and depressive symptoms and quality of life. Data were analyzed using multiple mediation modeling.Results: Men who reported having experienced adverse childhood experiences reported more depressive symptoms and lower quality of life than their counterparts. The results showed that in models both unadjusted and adjusted for age, race, education, number of years served, and whether the inmate had a life sentence, the association between adverse childhood experiences and quality of life were partially explained by the total of the indirect effects (point estimate = -.5052; CI.95 = -1.0364, -.0429 and point estimate = -.7792; CI.95 = -1.6369, -.0381), primarily via social support. However, the associations between adverse childhood experiences and depressive symptoms were not explained by social support and coping.Conclusion: Adverse childhood experiences are associated with deleterious mental health effects in later life. Social support and coping partially mediate the association between adverse childhood experiences and quality of life. The high prevalence of childhood trauma among aging prison inmates warrants attention to increasing social support mechanisms to improve mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-666
Number of pages12
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2 2016

Keywords

  • adverse childhood experiences
  • depressive symptoms
  • incarceration
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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