The Relationship of Childhood Adversity on Burnout and Depression Among BSN Students

Gloria McKee-Lopez, Leslie Robbins, Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Hector Olvera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Research evidence strongly suggests that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) predispose individuals to development of an increased sensitivity to stress and negative physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. Purpose: To determine if there was a relationship between the number of ACEs reported by first semester BSN students and their reported level of Burnout and Depression. Methods: 211 students enrolled in the first semester of upper division courses of their BSN program completed self-report questionnaires which measured the number of ACEs, the level of Depression and the level of Burnout. Results: The number of reported ACEs by participants had a significant relationship on the levels of burnout and severity of depressive symptoms. Female students with a higher number of ACEs were more likely to report higher levels of Burnout A (Emotional Exhaustion) and Burnout B (Depersonalization), and higher depression severity scores compared to males. Conclusion: Nursing programs should educate faculty concerning the frequency and range of adverse experiences that students may have had prior to admission to the nursing program, and the possible relationship with Burnout and Depression. Faculty can provide early information on counseling and support services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Burnout in nursing students
  • Childhood adversity
  • Depression in nursing students
  • Stress in nursing students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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