Adverse childhood experiences and mental health conditions among adolescents

Purpose: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been linked with poor physical and mental health. This study examined adult respondents' (e.g. parental) reports from the 2016–17 National Survey of Children's Health, a nationally representative study of health outcomes and social contexts of U.S. households with noninstitutionalized children. Methods: Logistic regression was used to examine associations between ACEs and reports of current depression, anxiety, conduct/behavioral problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and substance use disorder among youth (n = 29,617; 49% female) aged 12–17 years. Results: ACEs were associated with an increased likelihood of all current mental health diagnoses, particularly for youth exposed to four or more ACEs. Conclusion: Although data relied on cross-sectional adult reports, results provide evidence of a graded association between ACEs exposure and adolescents' mental health conditions; associations with substance use disorder were particularly marked. Early childhood, multilevel, trauma-informed interventions are needed to prevent negative youth outcomes associated with ACEs.



Work Title Adverse childhood experiences and mental health conditions among adolescents
Open Access
  1. Rachel N. Bomysoad
  2. Lori A. Francis
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Adolescent Health
Publication Date December 1, 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited November 23, 2021




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