The Prevalence of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Among Rural Latino Adults with Multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences in California

  • Irán BarreraEmail author
  • Vrinda Sharma
  • Yumiko Aratani
Original Paper


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been found to increase health and mental health risks in adulthood. Previous ACE studies tend to have small samples of Latinos; however, as Latinos are projected to be the largest minority group in the United States, it is important to examine how ACEs are associated with self-reported mental distress and alcohol and/or substance abuse among Latino populations. An ACEs survey was conducted in a predominantly Latino town; the sample included 195 individuals (18 or older), and the majority (92%) identified as Latino. Logistic regression showed that respondents with three or more ACEs, compared to those with no ACEs, were three times more likely to report more days of mental distress and eight times more likely to have alcohol and/or substance abuse problems. Further studies are needed to understand the association between ACEs and behavioral health using culturally and linguistically competent mental health screening tools.


Latinos Behavioral health ACEs Rural Mental health 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkFresno State UniversityFresnoUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Children in PovertyNew York CityUSA
  3. 3.Columbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew York CityUSA

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