Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Robert Hammond, D.B.A.

Co-Major Professor

Tony Kong, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Will, Ph.D.


Childhood Adversity, Counterproductive Work Behaviors, Job Demands, Job Performance, Job Supports, Therapists and Clinicians


For decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have reported on the worldwide pervasiveness and increasing societal costs associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). A recent post on the WHO website cited recent scientific research (2022) indicating the magnitude of harmful effects attributed to ACEs, even classifying them as “violence against children.” Esaki and Larkin (2013) indicate that ACEs are prevalent among many social service professionals, including mental health clinicians.

This study uses mental health clinicians as the sample population to identify the impact of ACEs on job performance. Findings from a volunteer sample of 250 mental health clinicians suggest a strong interaction effect between ACEs, workplace supports, and workplace stressors on the occurrence of counterproductive workplace behavior (CWB). When significant workplace supports exist, the interaction effect of ACEs and workplace stressors on CWB is insignificant. In contrast, when workplace supports are limited, the interaction effect of ACEs and workplace stressors on CWB is significant.

Our research suggests that workplace supports are part of an important process that allows individuals exposed to ACEs to manage their CWB in a stressed, potentially ACEs triggering environment. Our research suggests that work supports may be a crucial factor that precludes individuals exposed to ACEs from engaging in CWB in a stressful workplace.