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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have consistently been associated with elevated risk of multiple adverse health outcomes, yet their contribution to coping ability and psychiatric resilience in adulthood is unclear. Participants were 19,613 women in the Icelandic Stress-And-Gene-Analysis cohort with complete data on 13 ACEs measured with the ACE-International Questionnaire. Self-reported coping ability was measured with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and psychiatric resilience was operationalised as absence of psychiatric morbidity. Compared to women with 0 ACEs, women with [≥] 5 ACEs had 33% lower prevalence of high coping ability (PR=0.67, 95% CI 0.60,0.74) and 56% lower prevalence of high psychiatric resilience (PR=0.44; 95% CI 0.41,0.48). Specific ACEs including emotional neglect, bullying, sexual abuse and mental illness of household member were consistently associated with reduced adult resilience. We observed only slightly attenuated associations after controlling for adult socioeconomic factors and social support in adulthood, indicating that adult resilience may be largely determined in childhood.

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