Katie Owen; Nicholas Matta; Emma Lipinski

Document Type


Publication Date



This study will analyze data from the Health of Sexual & Gender Minorities Study (HSGMS) to determine if there is an association between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and resiliency in sexual and gender minorities (SGMs). Understanding the impact of childhood adversity on resilience is essential for developing effective interventions, promoting mental health, and creating supportive environments that empower SGMs to overcome the unique challenges that they often face. Our hypothesis is that there will be a negative correlation between adverse childhood experiences and resiliency among SGMs. The HSGMS is a quantitative, cross-sectional study conducted via a digital survey hosted on Qualtrics. Data was collected in February-March of 2022, and the study utilized electronic informed consent. Procedures were approved by the IRB. Recruitment for the HSGMS was done via 107 SGM-specific threads on Reddit, and participants consisted of 1,316 individuals aged 18+ who identified as a sexual and/or gender minority (not heterosexual and/or gender identity did not match sex assigned at birth). We analyzed the data using a bivariate correlation and found a significant negative correlation between ACE scores and resiliency levels (r = -13, and p < -.001), meaning that greater numbers of Adverse Childhood Experiences among those in the SGM community correspond with lower resilience scores, and vice versa. These findings support our hypothesis and emphasize the importance of building resilience to mitigate the potential detrimental effects of childhood adversity. Further research is necessary to understand the complex factors influencing resilience outcomes, interventions, and stressors faced by the SGM community.

Faculty Mentor

Jonathan Mosko, Ph.D.

Academic Discipline

College of Arts & Sciences



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