The Relationships Between ACEs, Depressive Symptoms, and Violence Perpetration Among Young Adolescents: Preliminary Findings From the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS)

Gia Naranjo-Rivera, Johns Hopkins University
Mengmeng Li , Johns Hopkins University
Robert Blum, Johns Hopkins University

Objective: To explore the relationships between adverse childhood experience (ACEs) exposures and two outcomes: depressive symptoms and violence perpetration. Methods: This study examines 2016-17 cross-sectional data from the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS). Continuous and clustered ACEs exposures (identified using latent class analysis) were explored among 1,284 adolescents aged 10-14 in 14 countries. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to assess associations, adjusting for sex, country, family wealth, and education attainment. Results: Adolescents living in poor urban settings are exposed to high levels of ACEs. The likelihood of reporting 1-3 and >3 depressive symptoms increases by 23% and 70%, respectively, with each additional ACE. Adolescents are also significantly more likely to be engaged in violence than their low-ACEs peers, especially boys. Multiple ACEs exposures are related to increased risks and odds of depressive symptoms and peer violence. Conclusion: ACEs exposure is linked to poor mental health and increased peer violence among adolescents from disadvantaged environments.

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 Presented in Session 63. International Perspectives on Adverse Childhood Experiences and Child/Youth Well-being