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Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 307–321 | Cite as

Examining the Differing Effects of Economic Hardship and Poor Maternal Wellbeing on Cumulative Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences

  • Kiley W. LimingEmail author
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

Extensive research supports a strong and cumulative relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and risky adult behaviors, mental health disorders, diseases, and health status. Additional factors, such as poor maternal wellbeing and economic hardship, compound the detrimental health and wellbeing implications associated with childhood exposure to ACEs. However, limited research has explored the differentiating effects of economic hardship and maternal wellbeing on a child’s cumulative ACE exposure. This study examined the differing effects of poor maternal wellbeing and economic hardship on a child’s exposure to ACEs. This study used a random sub-sample (n = 4000) from the 2011 to 2012 National Survey on Children’s Health (NSCH), a nationally representative cross-sectional study of children (N = 95,677) between birth and 17 years old. Confirmatory factor analysis results revealed greater economic hardship had a significant direct effect on a child’s ACE exposure and poorer maternal wellbeing. Poor maternal wellbeing had a significant mediation-like effect on the relationship between economic hardship and a child’s cumulative ACE exposure. Practice and policy implications include early ACE assessments tailored to identify children and families experiencing adversity across multiple domains.

Keywords

Economic hardship Maternal wellbeing Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The corresponding author declares no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards and Informed Consent

For this type of study, secondary data analysis, formal consent is not required. In the original study, the National Survey on Children’s Health (NSCH) 2011–2012, informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WelfareUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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