Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hawkins, Lindsey G.

Second Advisor

Walter, Melissa

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family and Consumer Sciences


Adverse childhood experiences permeate the environment of a child, impacting development in various ways. Research has shown that over 30% of the adult U.S population report some type of adverse childhood experience impacting development into adulthood. Research has shown that investigating areas of a child’s environment, other than the home, could assist in understanding the impact ACEs have on a child’s perception. Although previous research suggests a link between adverse childhood experiences and physical and emotional health problems, there is limited research addressing the impact ACEs have on a child’s perception of the reliability and safety in environments other than their home. In this thesis, the aim was to determine the relationship between ACEs, the predictor variable, and the child’s perception of school climate and school connectedness, the outcome variable. Additionally, this study investigated if and how specific ACEs are impactful towards a child’s perspective of their school environment. Based on previous literature on school climate and school connectedness, secondary longitudinal data from the Fragile Families Child Wellbeing Study was utilized. Respondents included biological parents and caregivers, and adolescents from ages 14 to 19. Parents and caregivers were evaluated for mental illness and substance use. This thesis provided insight into the relationship between ACEs and perception of school connectedness and school climate and evaluated the impact of specific ACEs on those perceptions.


58 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type