Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Patrick Maloney, PhD, MPH

Second Committee Member

Nicole Kolm-Valdivia, PhD, CHES, MPH

Third Committee Member

Anthony Blake, MPH


Objective: To investigate the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and screening for breast and colorectal cancer in adulthood.

Methods: This cross-sectional study utilized nationwide survey data from the 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Data regarding ACEs and compliance with breast and colorectal cancer screening guidelines were analyzed from 12 states. Weighted logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between ACEs and breast cancer screening compliance in a population of 18,369 women, and colorectal cancer screening compliance in a population of 30,884 men and women. Screening compliance among those with a high ACE score was compared to those with a low ACE score.

Results: The odds of cancer screening compliance differed by ACE score. A high ACE score was significantly associated with increased odds of colorectal cancer screening compliance but was associated with decreased odds of breast cancer screening compliance.

Conclusions: This study provided further evidence that ACEs have a significant impact on health behaviors. To reduce the burden presented by childhood trauma, public health initiatives focused on reducing ACEs should be implemented.

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