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Sarah Bofukya Bope, Dr. Robin Allen, PhD

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Literature Reviews

Current research has established a link between traumatic childhood experiences and adult health and wellbeing (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention, ACES). At least 1 in 6 has experienced some form of adverse childhood experiences (ACES). At least five of the top ten leading causes of death are linked to ACES. This exploratory project focuses on adults who were, for a variety of reasons, not raised by their biological parents. This particular population has not been previously studied.

10 people icons with 6.4 shaded dark blue
64% of adults have experienced at least one type of Adverse Childhood Experiences (CDC,2019).
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16% of adults have experience more than four types of Adverse Childhood Experiences (CDC, 2019).

Research Question

What are the effects on health and wellbeing of one losing attachment to their biological parents at a young age?


The impact of losing attachment to one’s parents will be explored through cross-sectional internet surveys and non-probability interviews.

Possible Results

It is anticipated that individuals that have experienced trauma/and/or child abuse will report struggles with both their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Although, individuals with higher protective factors are hypothesized to have stronger health and wellbeing.

Triangle indicating mechanisms from conception to death starting with adverse childhood experiences, disrupted neurodevelopment, social emotional and cognitive impairment, adoption of health-risk behaviors, disease disability, and social problems, and early death
Mechanism by which adverse childhood experiences influence health and well-being throughout the lifespan (Health Enhancement Systems, 2019)


Additional Information

For questions or comments about this research, contact at Sarah Bofukya Bope