Association between adverse childhood experiences and risky behaviors
Objective: To determine the association between ACEs and risky behavior using structural equation modeling.
Methods: Data were derived from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Seven indicators were assessed for risky behaviors: heavy drinking, binge drinking, drinking and driving, cigarette smoking, risky sexual behaviors, no physical activity; and lack of sleep. Eleven indicators were assessed for ACEs: living with anyone who was mentally ill, abused alcohol, used/abused drugs, or served time in jail/prison; if parents were separated/divorced; if adults in the home ever abused each other; and if an adult in the home ever physically, psychologically or sexually abused the respondent. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to examine the latent structure of the indicators, and path analysis was used to determine associations between ACEs and risky behavior factors.
Results: Bi-dimensional factors for risky behavior and ACEs were identified. The nonsexual ACE factor was significantly associated with chronic and acute risky behavior factors, and the sexual ACE factor was significantly associated with the chronic risky behavior factor.
Discussion: Prevention and early intervention of sexual ACEs and non-sexual ACEs may reduce the prevalence of acute and chronic risky behaviors. Efforts to alleviate ACEs may have long-term benefits for successful aging.
Public health or related research
Assess the association between adverse childhood experiences and risky behaviors using structural equation modeling Identify bi-dimensional measurement models for adverse childhood experiences and risky behaviors Discuss public health implications for the association between adverse childhood experiences and risky behaviors
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have done extensive coursework in my Master of Public Health program at Brown University and in the PhD program in Epidemiology at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in epidemiology and biostatistics. I have also done rigorous coursework in data analysis and structural equation modeling. I am also the first author on a paper currently under review examining the impact of adverse childhood experiences on adverse health outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.