Expanding the Original Definition of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
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We report two studies examining psychometric properties of an expanded measure of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that combined the original ACEs items with items from the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire. In Study 1, we examined its factorial structure, internal consistency, and concurrent validity in undergraduates (N = 1479). In Study 2, we also examined replicability of frequencies of ACEs, test-retest reliability, and convergent and predictive validity. Results suggested a model with four inter-related factors: maltreatment, household dysfunction, community dysfunction, and peer dysfunction/property victimization. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, concurrent and convergent validity were acceptable, and findings were replicated across samples. We suggest that this expanded measure is assessing early experiences of victimization and helplessness in the face of perceived intentional emotional and physical threats or actual harm by others, and that although they may not all be “traumatic,” their cumulative impact is associated with poor mental health in young adults.
KeywordsAdverse childhood experiences Trauma Reliability Validity Factorial structure Mental health Stress
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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