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How Childhood Experiences Affect College Dropout and Success Rates

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Deborah Colimon

The college experience can be a great aid in personal development. College can foster feelings of belonging and growth and be an incredible time for many. However, the transition to college life can be a difficult experience, especially for students who have dealt with a great deal of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are various forms of physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction a child may experience. Most people have experienced at least one type of Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) before age 18, and nearly 1 in 6 people have experienced four or more types of ACEs. Research has shown that children who have dealt with a high number of ACEs have more challenges in adulthood than those who did not. This study aims to examine whether there is an association between poor academic behaviors and the dropout prediction of students based off of their reported ACEs and Positive Childhood Experiences (PACEs). We will assess the surveyed responses (n=401) of recent Utah Valley University (UVU) alumni on their experience and success during their undergraduate years, as well as the ACEs and PACEs they have experienced. This data was obtained following IRB approval (protocol #939). We predict that the higher the ACEs the more likely it is that a student struggled academically and or dropped out of UVU or another institution at some point before graduating. The data found from this study can help in navigating how institutions of higher education can most effectively support students in their first semesters at their colleges or universities.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #C52
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Chris Anderson