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Prev Med. 2014 Oct;67:147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.07.029. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Adverse childhood experiences, dispositional mindfulness, and adult health.

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Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Child Trends, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.



To determine whether greater dispositional mindfulness is associated with better adult health across a range of exposures to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).


In 2012, a web-based survey of 2160 Pennsylvania Head Start staff was conducted. We assessed ACE score (count of eight categories of childhood adversity), dispositional mindfulness (Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised), and the prevalence of three outcomes: multiple health conditions (≥ 3 of 7 conditions), poor health behavior (≥ 2 of 5 behaviors), and poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) (≥ 2 of 5 indicators).


Respondents were 97% females, and 23% reported ≥ 3 ACEs. The prevalences of multiple health conditions, poor health behavior, and poor HRQOL were 29%, 21%, and 13%, respectively. At each level of ACE exposure, health outcomes were better in those with greater mindfulness. For example, among persons reporting ≥ 3 ACEs, those in the highest quartile of mindfulness had a prevalence of multiple health conditions two-thirds that of those in the lowest quartile (adjusted prevalence ratio (95% confidence interval)=0.66 (0.51, 0.86)); for those reporting no ACEs, the ratio was 0.62 (0.41, 0.94).


Across a range of exposures to ACEs, greater dispositional mindfulness was associated with fewer health conditions, better health behavior, and better HRQOL.


Child abuse; Child maltreatment; Child neglect; Chronic disease; Health behavior; Mindfulness; Quality of life; Stress, Psychological

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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