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Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences Varies by Jurisdiction, Sociodemographics

Highest prevalence of four or more adverse childhood experiences among females, adults aged 25 to 34 years, adults with less than high school education

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 3, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of individual and total adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), defined as preventable, potentially traumatic events, varies by jurisdiction and sociodemographic characteristics, according to research published in the June 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Elizabeth A. Swedo, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used 2011 to 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to provide estimates of ACEs prevalence among U.S. adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The researchers found that 63.9 and 17.3 percent of U.S. adults reported at least one ACE and reported four or more ACEs, respectively. Experiencing four or more ACEs was most common among females and adults aged 25 to 34 years (19.2 and 25.2 percent, respectively), non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults and non-Hispanic multiracial adults (32.4 and 31.5 percent, respectively), adults with less than a high school education (20.5 percent), and those who were unemployed or unable to work (25.8 and 28.8 percent, respectively). There was considerable variation observed in the prevalence of experiencing four or more ACEs across jurisdictions, from 11.9 to 22.7 percent in New Jersey and Oregon, respectively.

“CDC has released prevention resources to help provide jurisdictions and communities with the best available strategies to prevent violence and other ACEs, and with guidance on how to implement those strategies for maximum impact,” the authors write.

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