Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Anthony Blake MPH

Second Committee Member

Patrick Maloney PhD, MPH

Fourth Committee Member

Nicole Kolm Valdivia PhD, MPH


Objective: To determine if reporting adverse childhood experiences (ACE) is linked to depression in adults, taking into consideration the influence of sociodemographic factors.

Methods: A secondary analysis was performed using the cross-sectional 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey data. Twelve states included the optional ACE module, respondents who did not answer the questions about depression, education, or at least one ACE question were excluded from the analysis. The study population included 59,860 respondents. We examined the relationship between depression and ACE by using weighted univariate analysis, bivariate models, and logistic regressions.

Results: Among the respondents, 21% (12,112) reported depression while 79% (47,748) reported no depression. Respondents who had experienced 4+ ACEs had 1.5 higher odds of being diagnosed with depression than respondents who reported having 3 or fewer ACEs. After adjusting for confounding sociodemographic variables the odds of depression among respondents with 4+ ACEs significantly increased (Adjusted OR 3.43).

Conclusions: Higher odds of depression are seen in respondents who report 4+ ACEs. Sociodemographic variations indicate the need for increased prevention and intervention strategies.

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