Public Health, University of South Carolina
Cohort Seven Fellow


Academic Mentor
Rachel Davis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health

Policy Mentor
Megan Branham
Director of Policy and Research, Palmetto Association for Children and Families

Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education and Initiatives, Economic Supports for Families, Families and Family Systems, Regression Modeling, Grounded TheoryMixed Methods, Infants and Toddlers, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Preschool-aged Children, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, School-aged Children, Adverse Childhood Experiences


Aditi Srivastav is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health in the Department of Heath Promotion, Education and Behavior. As the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Coordinator at the Children’s Trust of South Carolina, Aditi’s work focuses on the assessment, evaluation and dissemination of ACE data and the implementation of community-based prevention efforts that promote child health and well-being. Prior to starting her PhD program, Aditi worked at AcademyHealth, managing the national ACE initiative and overseeing interest groups across public health topics. She has also worked at the American Academy of Pediatrics on federal policy issues and the National Institutes of Health on cancer prevention and policy. Aditi holds a master’s degree in public health with a focus on federal health policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in American Government from the University of Virginia.


Helping Our Kids Thrive: Understanding and Effectively Communicating the Role of Protective Factors in Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences Through Policy Efforts

Since the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study in 1997, 30+ states have collected ACEs data to better understand links between early childhood adversity and negative adult health and social outcomes. South Carolina began to collect ACEs data in 2014 through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (SC-BRFSS), a cross-sectional telephone survey of non-institutionalized adults. In 2016, eight additional items were added to the survey on some of the contextual factors associated with ACEs, including questions on the absence of a positive caregiver, food insecurity, homelessness, and poverty in early childhood. This dissertation has two specific goals: 1) to understand the role of positive environments on the prevalence of ACEs and the association between ACEs and adult health outcomes, and 2) to develop guidance for communities on how to frame persuasive messages to policymakers on the need for policies that support the prevention of ACEs.