Journal of Trauma and Critical Care

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Short Communication - Journal of Trauma and Critical Care (2021) Volume 5, Issue 4

Examining the association between adverse childhood experiences and need for closure in a sample of undergraduate students

The leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States are related to health behaviors and environmental factors. An insidious environmental issue is maltreatment or exposure to abuse during childhood, which can seriously impact cognitive development. In addition, individuals who experienced trauma may have a heightened reaction to uncertainty. The need for closure (NFC) refers to a desire for a definitive answer to a question and aversion toward ambiguity. Several authors propose that individuals who live in a complex reality need to simplify these demanding situations. This study examines the association between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Need For Closure (NFC). Our primary hypothesis is that ACEs predict high NFC as an adaptive strategy to deal with chronic vulnerability after several traumas. Data from 237 undergraduates from a large California university were used. The following scales were administered: Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (Felitti et al., 1998); Need for Closure Scale (Webster & Kruglanski, 1994); and demographics. Simple bivariate correlation was conducted to explore the relationship between the first two scales' total score. In order to assess the contribution of each subtype of ACEs to a high or low NFC score, ?² for independence was used. The results show that the most prevalent ACE was Familial Mental Illness (N = 90) while the least prevalent was Mother Treated Violently (N = 15). Pearson correlation coefficient obtained by the Bivariate Correlation revealed no significant correlation between ACE's Total Score and NFC's Total Score. Results from ?² for independence indicate that two categories of childhood exposure had a significant results: for Sexual Abuse ?²(1, N = 66) = 5.242, p = .022 and for Familial Mental Illness ?²(1, N = 66) = 3.882, p = .049. Our results demonstrate that the NFC was not equivalent for all ACEs as only the sexual abuse group showed an enhanced need for closure. Results obtained using a ?² for independence indicate that, given those who reported at least one ACE, the great majority were low in NFC, which contradicts our hypothesis. Additional analysis would provide researchers and practitioners insight as to respond to these patients.

Author(s): Maria Luisa Gontijo Gouveia

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