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“That kind of got me thinking, ‘What can we do for these people to prevent the development of mental health issues and substance abuse?’” she said.
Boeckenhauer is endeavoring to answer that question with research for her honors thesis. The senior nursing major has done a systematic review of literature on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their negative effects.
Boeckenhauer’s research has shown that identifying and encouraging modifiable variables, including mindfulness, resilience, and positive adult relationships, can have a significant impact on people who have experienced ACEs.
“There are a lot of skills [that Katie is] learning through this process of doing her thesis that will apply and suit her well in life as a professional nurse," said Masters.