Adverse Childhood Experiences Among Asian/Pacific Islander Sexual Minority College Students

  • Andrew Sieben
  • Lynette M. RennerEmail author
  • Katherine Lust
  • William Vang
  • Ruby H. N. Nguyen
Original Article


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) remain understudied among people with multiple minority identities. Individuals with multiple minority identities, such as being both a sexual and racial minority, may experience a greater number of ACEs through an intersection of disadvantages. For Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs), this juxtaposes with previously reported lower rates of ACEs compared to most other racial/ethnic groups. We sought to determine whether ACEs differed among API sexual minorities compared to others. In this study, we examined whether ACEs were more frequent among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) API college students compared to majority students. We used data from the 2015 College Student Health Survey to estimate the prevalence of ACEs among respondents and compared ACE prevalence between LGB and heterosexual students by race. LGB students reported a higher mean in overall ACE exposure than heterosexual counterparts, regardless of race (2.8 and 1.8 for LGB API vs. heterosexual API, respectively, p < 0.01). The distribution of specific ACEs differed for APIs versus non-APIs, with some significantly higher, and some lower, for APIs than non-APIs. Our findings revealed that significant disparities in ACEs between LGB and heterosexuals exist among APIs, even in the presence of the altered distribution of ACEs when compared to other races. Continued investigation into the unique ACE exposures of sexual minority APIs is needed to eventually inform prevention practices.


Child maltreatment Adverse childhood experiences Sexual orientation Intersectionality Asian Minority 



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of MinnesotaSt PaulUSA
  3. 3.Boynton HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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