Traumatic Childhood Experiences in the 21st Century: Broadening and Building on the ACE Studies With Data From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Johanna K.P. Greeson, Ernestine C. Briggs, Christopher M. Layne, Harolyn M.E. Belcher, Sarah A. Ostrowski, Soeun Kim, Robert C. Lee, Rebecca L. Vivrette, Robert S. Pynoos, John A. Fairbank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The study objectives were to (a) examine the association between total number of trauma types experienced and child/adolescent behavioral problems and (b) determine whether the number of trauma types experienced predicted youth behavioral problems above and beyond demographic characteristics, using a diverse set of 20 types of trauma. Data came from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's (NCTSN) Core Data Set (CDS), which includes youth assessed and treated for trauma across the United States. Participants who experienced at least one type of trauma were included in the sample (N = 11,028; age = 11/2-18 years; 52.3% girls). Random effects models were used to account for possible intraclass correlations given treatment services were provided at different NCTSN centers. Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate associations among demographic characteristics, trauma, and emotional and behavioral problems as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Significant dose-response relations were found between total number of trauma types and behavior problems for all CBCL scales, except Sleep, one of the subscales only administered to 11/2- to 5-year-olds. Thus, each additional trauma type endorsed significantly increased the odds for scoring above the clinical threshold. Results provide further evidence of strong associations between diverse traumatic childhood experiences and a diverse range of behavior problems, and underscore the need for a trauma-informed public health and social welfare approach to prevention, risk reduction, and early intervention for traumatized youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-556
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

Keywords

  • Child Behavior Checklist
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network
  • behavior problems
  • child traumatic stress (CTS)
  • traumatic childhood experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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  • Cite this

    Greeson, J. K. P., Briggs, E. C., Layne, C. M., Belcher, H. M. E., Ostrowski, S. A., Kim, S., Lee, R. C., Vivrette, R. L., Pynoos, R. S., & Fairbank, J. A. (2014). Traumatic Childhood Experiences in the 21st Century: Broadening and Building on the ACE Studies With Data From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(3), 536-556. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260513505217