Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can leave negative impacts on one's health behaviors or social functioning later in life. Resilient characteristics have been shown to mitigate effects against risk behaviors in developing adolescents. However, clinical and research attention has rarely been given to jointly consider the effects of ACEs and resilient characteristics on health behaviors in Taiwanese youth. Method: A total of 200 individuals aged 15–22 years were recruited from primary care settings, communities, and schools. Participants completed questionnaires assessing their ACEs, resilient characteristics, and health behaviors. Univariate analysis was firstly used to describe the correlates of ACEs and resilient characteristics. Further multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association of both factors with health behaviors. Results: More than half (61.5%) of those surveyed had been exposed to at least one category of ACE. Verbal (37%) and physical (21%) abuses were the most common types of ACEs. The counts in the ACE categories were associated with being involved in physical fights (odds ratio 1.28 [confidence interval 1.01–1.63]), property damage (1.29 [1.03–1.61]), running away from home (1.30 [1.05–1.60]), bullying victimization (1.37 [1.16–1.61]), and sleep problems/tiredness (1.25 [1.03–1.52]). Meanwhile, resilience scores were associated with decreased odds of infrequent seatbelt use (0.47 [0.23–0.97]), low fruit and vegetable intake (0.42 [0.21–0.86]) unsatisfied body image (0.46 [0.22–0.97]), and sleep problems/tiredness (0.37 [0.18–0.79]). Conclusions: ACEs and resilience characteristics play a significant role in shaping youth health behaviors. Further research should be undertaken to identify ways to build resilience against health risks in youth with prior ACE exposure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health