The Comorbidity of Physical, Mental, and Developmental Conditions Associated with Childhood Adversity: A Population Based Study
Objective Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with myriad health conditions and risk behaviors in both adolescents and adults. In this study we examine the association between ACEs and specific physical, mental, and developmental conditions, as well as their comorbidity, in a nationally representative sample of children 0–17 years. Methods Data from the 2011–2012 National Survey for Child Health (NSCH) were used. A total of 95,677 random-digit-dial interviews with parents of children 0–17 years were conducted across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Outcomes included singular condition domains (physical, mental, and developmental) as well as combinations of condition domains (e.g., physical plus mental, mental plus developmental, etc.). Results Twenty-three percent of parents reported that their child experienced 1 ACE; 9.2 % experienced 2 ACEs, and 10.3 % experienced three or more. Across all three condition domains and combinations of domains, children who experienced at least one ACE were more likely than children who experienced 0 ACEs to have at least one condition. Additionally, greater ACEs was associated with increased likelihood of at least one condition in each domain and in multiple domains. Conclusions for practice These findings support the extension of existing family environment screening tools in pediatric practices as well as the establishment of a system for monitoring ACEs in families with multiple or complex conditions.
KeywordsAdverse childhood experiences Pediatrics Comorbidity Public health
Administration for children and families
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
American Academy of Pediatrics
Adverse childhood experiences
Federal poverty level
National Study of Children’s Health
Child and adolescent measurement initiative
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