Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Peter Williams

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Robert Haussman

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Rick Zomer


The negative impact of adverse childhood experiences on both short-term and long-term wellbeing has been repeatedly validated across multiple populations. While adverse childhood experiences have been thoroughly researched in many contexts, this is not the case for Appalachia, which has often been relegated to the fringe of scholarly research, resulting in an overall lack of research on Appalachia. Further lacking is research into how protective factors might be utilized to help overcome adversity. While some recent research on the relationship between adverse childhood experiences, hope, and resilience has been conducted, it too has been limited to select populations. It is for these reasons that this quantitative cross-sectional study of the relationship between adversity, hope, resilience, and perceived social support among emerging Appalachian adults was conducted. The study included 200 emerging Appalachian adults who submitted survey responses on their level of exposure to adverse childhood experiences, level of hope, level of academic resilience, and level of perceived social support. The data were analyzed using correlation analysis, linear regression analysis, and mediation and moderation analysis. The results very clearly illustrated and reinforced the negative implications of adverse childhood experiences. However, the results also reflected that higher levels of perceived social support amplified hope in individuals who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and indicated that higher levels of hope positively correlated to academic resilience. These findings supported the notion that while exposure to adverse childhood experiences is detrimental, hope can be harvested to help individuals display resilience in the face of adversity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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