Author Date


Degree Name





Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Quintin Hunt, PhD

First Faculty Reader

Chad Jensen, PhD

Honors Coordinator

Bruce Brown, PhD


suicide, adverse childhood experience, family relationship strength, protective factors


Introduction: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are known to cause higher incidences of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors (STBs) in young people. Family Relationship Strength (FRS) is a known protective factor against STBs. However, there is little research on the protective nature of FRS once ACEs have been experienced by a young person. The aim of our analysis is to examine whether the strong protective nature of FRS holds true even in ACE- exposed youth.

Methods: A sample of 139 patients at the Brigham Young University Comprehensive Clinic (aged 12-25) was obtained from the BYU Marriage and Family Therapy Practice Research Network. Linear regression was used to predict STBs from FRS based in youth who had experienced four or more ACEs. Another regression was used to predict STBs in all participants based on the interaction between ACEs and FRS.

Results: Linear regression of participants exposed to four or more ACEs showed FRS negatively predicting STBs. The linear regression of all participants showed that the interaction between ACEs and FRS also supported the hypothesis with STBs going up significantly even as FRS went down even in ACE-exposed youth.

Conclusion: The results indicate that FRS remains a significant protective factor against FRS in ACE-exposed young people and should be considered when working with children who have been through traumatic experience.


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