Applying causal inference methods to investigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences on mental health
University College London
One in two adults in the UK report having experienced abuse, neglect, or dysfunctional home environments in childhood coping with situations such parental substance abuse or domestic violence. Many children who experience these adversities develop mental health problems. However, it is not known whether such adverse childhood experiences cause mental health problems or whether the associations are better explained by other factors, such as poverty or genetic risk.
I will investigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences on mental health problems. I will apply innovative statistical techniques that disentangle the effects of adverse childhood experiences from other factors, using data from large studies of children from the UK, Sweden, and Norway. I will compare findings across different statistical techniques to draw confident conclusions about the effects of adverse childhood experiences.
The findings will indicate whether interventions targeting adverse childhood experiences could help prevent children from developing mental health problems.