Mood Emot 2022 Nov; 20(3): 52-58
Effects of Positive Psychological Resources on the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Depressive Symptoms in University Students
Jongbin Kim, MD1 , Dae Kyung Yoo2 , Hyun-Ju Yang, MD, PhD1 ,Duk-Soo Moon, MD, PhD 1 , Na Ri Kang, MD, PhD1 , Joon Hyuk Park, MD, PhD1 ,Moon-Doo Kim, MD, PhD1 , Young-Eun Jung, MD, PhD1
1Department of Psychiatry,Jeju National Universitiy School of Medicine, 2Jeju National Universitiy School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea
Correspondence to: Young-Eun Jung, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Jeju National Universitiy School of Medicine, 15 Aran 13-gil, Jeju 63241, Korea
TEL +82-64-717-1234 FAX +82-64-717-1849 E-mail ORCID
Received: November 2, 2022; Accepted: November 15, 2022; Published online: November 30, 2022.
© Korean Society for Affective Disorders. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: This study was conducted to examine the effect of adverse childhood experiences on depressive symptoms in university students and to verify whether positive psychological resources act as a protective factor for depression.
Methods: Data from 1,317 young adults aged 18-29 years who took part in the university-based cross-sectional survey were analyzed. All participants completed self-report questionnaires that included demographic variables, the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Positive Resources Test.
Results: The incidence of depression was 33.3% and was higher in women than in men. Based on the 10 ACE categories, 32.7% of the students reported one or more adverse childhood experiences, and 14.4% reported two or more forms of adverse childhood experiences. Students with depressive symptoms were likely to report more traumatic experiences in childhood and fewer positive psychological resources than those without depressive symptoms. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that positive psychological resources moderated the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and depression.
Conclusion: Based on these results, professionals should consider identifying adverse childhood experiences early and provide active mental health service support, including positive psychological and social resources for individuals who have adverse experiences during childhood.
Keywords: Adverse childhood experience; Depressive symptoms; Positive psychological resources

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