Adverse childhood experiences among immigrants and their children

Keith J. Martin, John D. Cowden, David D. Williams, Kimberley A. Randell

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


To compare parent-reported adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) between immigrant and US-born parents and their children.

Data were obtained for secondary analysis from a study examining ACEs and child weight. Parents of 6-12 year-old children in general pediatrics or weight management clinics of two Midwest academic hospitals completed an anonymous questionnaire assessing parent and child ACEs. Immigrant status was determined by asking, “Were you/your child born in the United States?” Differences between groups were analyzed using bivariate and multinomial logistic regression.

331 parents participated of whom 67% were born in the US. 99% of children were born in the US. The majority of children of immigrant parents were Hispanic (94%). Compared to immigrant parents, US-born parents reported experiencing more conventional and expanded ACEs. Compared to immigrant parents, US-born parents also reported higher conventional and expanded ACE scores for their children (Table 1). Adjusting for covariates, US-born parents were more likely than immigrant parents to report experiencing 1-3 conventional ACEs (RRR 2.4 [95% CI: 1.3,4.5]), ≥ 4 conventional ACEs (RRR 2.7 [95% CI: 1.2,6.2]), and ≥ 3 expanded ACEs (RRR 4.6 [95% CI: 2.0,10.9]). Children of US-born parents had higher risk for report of 1-3 conventional ACEs (RRR 2.0 [95% CI: 1.1,3.8]), 1-2 expanded ACEs (RRR 3.4 [95% CI: 1.7,6.7]) and ≥ 3 expanded ACEs (RRR 10.3 [95% CI: 2.5,42.2]).

Immigrant parents reported significantly fewer ACEs for themselves and their children than US-born parents did. Further study among more diverse immigrant populations should examine ACEs that may be unique to immigrants.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - May 1 2018


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