Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Well-Being in a Low-income, Urban Cohort.

Alison Giovanelli, Arthur J. Reynolds, Christina F. Mondi, Suh-Ruu Ou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study tests the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and multidimensional well-being in early adulthood for a low-income, urban cohort, and whether a preschool preventive intervention moderates this association. METHODS: Follow-up data were analyzed for 1202 low-income, minority participants in the Chicago Longitudinal Study, a prospective investigation of the impact of early experiences on life-course well-being. Born between 1979 and 1980 in high-poverty neighborhoods, individuals retrospectively reported ACEs from birth to adolescence, except in cases of child abuse and neglect. RESULTS: Nearly two-thirds of the study sample experienced ≥1 ACEs by age 18. After controlling for demographic factors and early intervention status, individuals reporting ACEs were significantly more likely to exhibit poor outcomes than those with no ACEs. Those with ≥4 ACEs had significantly reduced likelihood of high school graduation (odds ratio [OR] = 0.37; P < .001), increased risk for depression (OR = 3.9; P < .001), health compromising behaviors (OR = 4.5; P < .001), juvenile arrest (OR = 3.1; P < .001), and felony charges (OR = 2.8; P < .001). They were also less likely to hold skilled jobs (OR = 0.50; P = .001) and to go further in school even for adversity measured by age 5. CONCLUSIONS: ACEs consistently predicted a diverse set of adult outcomes in a high-risk, economically disadvantaged sample. Effective and widely available preventive interventions are needed to counteract the long-term consequences of ACEs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8
Number of pages1
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

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