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Adverse childhood experiences and trajectories of internalizing, externalizing, and prosocial behaviors from childhood to adolescence

Bevilacqua, L; Kelly, Y; Heilmann, A; Priest, N; Lacey, R; (2021) Adverse childhood experiences and trajectories of internalizing, externalizing, and prosocial behaviors from childhood to adolescence. Child Abuse & Neglect , Article 104890. 10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104890. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) predict poorer mental health across the life course but most of the extant research has employed ACE scores or individual adversities using retrospective data. / Objectives: To study the impact of ACEs on later mental health using not only ACEs scores and individual ACEs, but also latent class analysis (LCA), which respects the clustering of adversities. / Participants and setting: 8823 members from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. / Methods: We investigated the impact of prospectively reported ACEs on mental health trajectories derived using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at age 3, 5, 7, 11 and 14. Associations between LCA-derived ACE clusters, ACE scores, individual ACEs and mental health trajectories were tested using linear mixed effects models. / Results: With statistical significance set at 5% level, ACE scores showed a graded association with internalizing (ACE score of 1: β = 0.057; ACE score of 2: β = 0.108; ACE score of 3: β = 0.202), externalizing (ACE score of 1: β = 0.142; ACE score of 2: β = 0.299; ACE score of 3: β = 0.415) and prosocial behaviors (ACE score of 1: β=-0.019; ACE score of 2: β=-0.042; ACE score of 3: β=-0.059). Harsh parenting and physical punishment were particularly strongly associated with externalizing (β = 0.270 and β = 0.256) and negatively associated with prosocial behaviors (β=-0.046 and β=-0.058). Parental discord and parental depression showed the strongest associations with internalizing problems (β = 0.125 and β = 0.113). LCA did not discriminate ACE clusters in this dataset. / Conclusions: ACEs have an important impact on mental health from childhood to adolescence. ACEs score approach yielded useful results, which were further enhanced by exploring individual ACEs.

Type: Article
Title: Adverse childhood experiences and trajectories of internalizing, externalizing, and prosocial behaviors from childhood to adolescence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104890
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104890
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences, Cohort study, Externalizing, Internalizing, Millennium Cohort Study, Prosocial, Behavior, ACE score, Individual ACEs
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117705
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