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Study Examines Links Between Early ACEs and Outcomes in Middle Childhood

"Adverse experiences in infancy and toddlerhood: Relations to adaptive behavior and academic status in middle childhood", will be published in the August issue of the journal Child Abuse and Neglect. The study, conducted by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researchers Lorraine McKelvey, Nikki Edge, Glenn R. Mesman, and Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, along with Arizona State University researcher Robert H. Bradley, collected and analyzed interview data from a sample of low-income families during the impacts study of Early Head Start (EHS) at or near the ages of 1, 2, 3, and 11.

Logistic regression analyses, controlling for EHS program assignment, and parent, school, and child characteristics, showed ACEs were significantly associated with parental report of the child: having an individualized educational program since starting school and in the current school year, having been retained a grade in school, and problems with externalizing and internalizing behavior, as well as attention.

For example, adjusted odds ratios for academic status and adaptive behavior by ACE scores showed that a child with an ACE score of 3 or more was 2.58  times (p < .001) more likely to have been held back a grade since first grade compared with a child with a zero ACE score. A child with an ACE score of 3 or more was 5.35 times (p < .001) more likely to exhibit externalizing problems compared with a child with zero ACEs.

Findings suggest that ACEs influence children’s behavioral and academic outcomes early in development.

Read the abstract and the purchase the full article here

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