Skip to content

Pregnant women’s perspectives on screening for adverse childhood experiences and resilience during prenatal care

To examine the acceptability of routine screening for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience during prenatal care. This study examined pregnant women’s perspectives (N = 119) on ACEs and resilience screening during prenatal care in two medical centers via postscreening telephone surveys. Chi-square tests and Fisher’s Exact Tests examined whether responses varied with ACEs (0 [62.2%], 1-2 [21.0%], 3+ [16.8%]) or resilience (high [64.7%] vs. low [35.3%]). The sample (N = 119) was 36.1% non-Hispanic White, 26.1% Hispanic, 8.4% Black, 23.5% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 5.9% Other, with a median age of 31 (IQR: 28-34) and average neighborhood median household income of $100,734 (SD = $37,079). Most women thought prenatal care should include conversations about ACEs (82.2%) and resilience (94.0%) and very strongly believed that good coping skills can help reduce the harmful effects of childhood stress (79.0%). Nearly half (41.2%) used ≥1 mental health resource from the resource handout provided at screening. Some women thought conversations could be improved if they took place with a mental health professional (37.3%), with more provider empathy (40.7%), more education about ACEs and health (55.1%), and if the screening included additional stressors (53.4%). Notably, most women (73.5%) would like their partner to also receive the screening. Women with more ACEs were more likely to want a longer conversation, and those with low versus high resilience were more likely to prefer that a mental health professional conduct the screening. Results indicate that women value ACEs screening during prenatal care and provide actionable recommendations to improve future screenings and discussions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Authors: Watson, Carey; Wei, Julia; Varnado, Nicole; Rios, Normelena; Staunton, Mary; Ferguson, Dorothy; Young-Wolff, Kelly C

Psychol Trauma. 2022 Nov;14(8):1299-1303. Epub 2022-01-13.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top