Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 50, Issue 8, pp 1257–1266 | Cite as

Gender-specific profiles of adverse childhood experiences, past year mental and substance use disorders, and their associations among a national sample of adults in the United States

  • Courtenay E. CavanaughEmail author
  • Hanno Petras
  • Silvia S. Martins
Original Paper



This study examined profiles of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and mental and substance use disorders (MSUDs), and associations between distinct profiles of ACEs and MSUDs.


Participants were adults (N = 34, 652) involved in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Latent class analysis was used to examine both profiles of ten ACEs and ten past year MSUDs. Dual latent class analysis regression was used to examine associations between profiles of ACEs and MSUDs. Given gender differences in ACEs and MSUDs, analyses were conducted separately for females and males.


Four profiles of ACEs and three profiles of MSUDs were selected for both genders. The four profiles of ACEs were characterized by the following probabilities: high multiple ACEs, high parental substance abuse, high childhood physical abuse, and low ACEs. The three profiles of MSUDs were characterized by the following probabilities: high multiple MSUDs for females and low MSUDs except alcohol use disorders for males, moderate-to-high major depressive episode, and low MSUDs. When compared to the low ACEs and MSUDs profiles, members in the higher ACEs profiles had 3.71–89.75 times greater odds of also being members in the higher MSUDs profiles. However, more than one-third of members in the high multiple ACEs profiles were also in the low MSUDs profiles.


Study findings suggest four profiles of the ACEs widely studied as part of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and risk and resilience for recent MSUDs among men and women nationally affected by ACEs.


Mental disorders Adverse childhood experiences Latent class analysis National Gender 



Silvia Martins work on this study was supported by grant (1RO1HD060072) from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This study was presented at the 2014 conference for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 13 kb)
127_2015_1024_MOESM3_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Courtenay E. Cavanaugh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hanno Petras
    • 2
    • 3
  • Silvia S. Martins
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRutgers UniversityCamdenUSA
  2. 2.American Institute of ResearchWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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