Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Juliann Sergi McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Antonio Gutierrez de Blume

Committee Member 2

Pamela Wells


This study focuses on the role that Adverse Childhood Experiences play in the lives of today’s college students and how Protective Factors can be integrated and enhanced to increase a student’s level of Resilience. This descriptive, causal-comparative quantitative study looked at participants’ levels of Resilience, what Adverse Childhood Experiences they entered college with, and what role Protective Factors played in mitigating the impacts of those Adverse Childhood Experiences on the levels of Resilience. Results indicated older students scored a higher Resilience score than their younger counterparts. Goal efficacy had the strongest effect on Resilience levels, while planning and goal efficacy explained 36% and 26% of the variability of Resilience, respectively. When discussing the full or partial mediation of the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Resilience, planning and social support both partially mediated the effect. These results indicated the important role Protective Factors play in the success of college students as well as the importance of Resilience as a whole. Implications for practice suggest institutions of higher education should examine how to assist students with increasing levels of Resilience to mitigate the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences to increase their levels of success while at college. Future research should be conducted on the role of Protective Factors and how they can further mediate the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience.

Research Data and Supplementary Material