U.S. Department of Justice

The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in the Lives of Juvenile Offenders

Publication year: 2014
While the negative influence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on adults has been studied, the prevalence and impact of ACEs on juvenile offenders is less well known. This study aims to address this lack of knowledge. "Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) refer to the following 10 childhood experiences researchers have identified as risk factors for chronic disease in adulthood: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, violent treatment towards mother, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and having an incarcerated household member" (p. 2). Sections following an abstract include: introduction; adverse experiences and justice-involved youth; gender differences in ACE exposure and repercussions; the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) risk/needs assessment; use of PACT data to create ACE composite scores; results—prevalence of ACE indicators and ACE composite score by gender; discussion; and conclusion. Juveniles with ACEs are at increased risk for justice system involvement and risk for re-offense.

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