Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Caroline Lim


Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with mental and physical health outcomes of children, but less is known about how ACEs impact parenting. Objective: This study systematically reviewed the evidence of the association between parental adverse childhood experiences and parenting behaviors. Methods: The study employed a rigorous methodology, including searching several electronic databases, such as the CSUSB search engine, EBSCOhost Academic Search Premiere, PsycINFO, PubMed, and ScienceDirect. The keywords used for the search process included Adverse Childhood Experiences, ACEs, Maltreatment, Adverse Experiences, Traumatic Experiences, and Parenting or Childrearing. Inclusion criteria were restricted to studies published between 2014 and 2024. Results: In total, seven studies were identified. Most of the studies (85.00%) were conducted within the United States. The findings of this review revealed that there is a significant relationship between parental ACEs and parenting, with parents who have experienced ACEs being more prone to displaying harsh, authoritarian, or permissive and inconsistent parenting styles. Similarly, the results indicate that the number of ACEs experienced by parents is directly proportional to the negative parenting outcomes. Conclusion: Although the limited number of studies and heterogeneity of participants' gender restrict the findings' generalizability, this review calls for interventions to address parental ACEs to improve parenting practices and promote positive child outcomes. Further research should focus on using diverse and larger sample sizes to explore this association further.