Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on mental disorders in young adulthood: Latent classes and community violence exposure.

Research paper by Haenim H Lee, Youngmi Y Kim, Jasmine J Terry

Indexed on: 27 Feb '20Published on: 26 Feb '20Published in: Preventive Medicine


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have significant impacts on mental health outcomes. There is a growing interest in expanding the scope of ACEs beyond household environments. To date, few studies examine multidimensional ACEs with community violence. This study aims to (1) identify underlying ACE classes including exposure to community violence, and (2) investigate the associations of ACE classes with mental disorders in adulthood: depression, anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We employed Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and logistic regression analyses using the data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Adult Health (Add Health; N = 10,784). The LCA identified four heterogeneous ACE classes: (1) child maltreatment (17.47%), (2) household dysfunction (14.39%), (3) community violence (5.36%), and (4) low adversity (62.79%). Three logistic analyses showed that the "child maltreatment" class was more likely to report a depression (OR = 1.56, CI = 1.26-1.92), anxiety (OR = 1.31, CI = 1.06-1.62), and PTSD (OR = 1.97, CI = 1.35-2.87) in adulthood compared to the "low adversity" class. Also, the "community violence" class was more likely to have PTSD (OR = 2.15, CI = 1.14-4.06) in adulthood, compared to the "low adversity" class. However, the "household dysfunction" class was not significantly different in all three mental disorders from the "low adversity" class. Findings supported the differences in mental disorders in young adulthood by types of exposures to ACEs. The study highlights the importance of considering types of ACEs exposure for promoting mental health of young adults. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.