Author ORCID Identifier

Kayla Frederick: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4906-9554


Research has revealed adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have a negative effect on a child’s development and put a child at an increased risk of physical and mental health problems in adulthood including obesity, diabetes, depressed mood, and attempted suicide (Anda et al., 2006; Felitti et al., 1998; Gilbert et al., 2015; Putamen, 2006). Some children have been able to counteract the negative effects of ACEs and achieve positive life outcomes using a principle called resilience (Zolkoski & Bullock, 2012). While researchers have begun to identify the key skills and character traits associated with resilience in children, few have explored whether healthcare workers are using this information to facilitate resilience development in children (Masten and Barnes, 2018; Yule et al., 2019). The current study utilized virtual surveys to examine the opinions of occupational therapists and other members of the interdisciplinary team on the negative effects of ACEs and asked them to list the interventions they used to assist children in overcoming these negative effects. The results of the study found both occupational therapists and the wider interdisciplinary team recognize the effects of adverse childhood experiences on a child’s development, and have utilized the following interventions to assist children in developing resilience: facilitating the development of self-regulation skills and problem-solving skills, utilizing sensory based interventions, utilizing group therapy, utilizing principles of a trauma-informed approach, and referring the child to other professional services (e.g. social worker or psychological services). While many of these interventions were supported by scholarly research, OTs and members of the interdisciplinary team neglected to address key protective factors in childhood resilience. Professionals working with children with ACEs may benefit from additional training in the area of childhood resilience.