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Article
Publication date: 28 November 2020

Deborah J. Morris, Elanor Lucy Webb, Emma Parmar, Grace Trundle and Anne McLean

People with developmental disorders are significantly more likely to experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), although the impact of ACEs on this population is not…

Abstract

Purpose

People with developmental disorders are significantly more likely to experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), although the impact of ACEs on this population is not well understood. Furthermore, considerably less is known about the exposure to, and impact of, ACEs in detained adolescents with complex developmental disorder needs. This paper aims to explore the exposure to ACEs in an adolescent population detained in a secure specialist developmental disorder service.

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective file review was used to explore ACEs and placement histories within a specialist developmental disorder inpatient service. Data was collated for a convenience sample of 36 adolescents, 9 of whom were female, aged 13–20 years (M = 17.28 years).

Findings

A total of 33 participants (91.7%) had experienced at least 1 ACE, with 58% experiencing 4 or more ACEs and 36% experiencing 6 or more ACEs. The most common ACEs reported were physical abuse (61.6%), parental separation (58.3%) and emotional abuse (55.6%). The majority of participants had also experienced high levels of disruption prior to admission, with an average of four placement breakdowns (range 1–13, standard deviation = 3.1). ACEs held a significant positive association with the total number of placement breakdowns and total number of mental health diagnoses.

Practical implications

Adolescents detained in specialist developmental disorder secure care had, at the point of admission, experienced high levels of adversities and had been exposed to high levels of experienced and observed abuse. The level of exposure to adversity and ongoing disruptions in care suggests that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services’ developmental secure services should consider adopting dual treatment frameworks of developmental disorder and trauma-informed care.

Originality/value

This study explored the early-life and placement experiences of a marginalised and understudied population.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2020

Emery R. Eaves, Ricky L. Camplain, Monica R. Lininger and Robert T. Trotter II

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and substance use among people incarcerated in a county jail.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and substance use among people incarcerated in a county jail.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was administered to 199 individuals incarcerated in a Southwest county jail as part of a social-epidemiological exploration of converging comorbidities in incarcerated populations. Among 96 participants with complete ACEs data, the authors determined associations between individual ACEs items and a summative score with methamphetamine (meth), heroin, other opiates and cocaine use and binge drinking in the 30 days prior to incarceration using logistic regression.

Findings

People who self-reported use of methamphetamine, heroin, other opiates or cocaine in the 30 days prior to incarceration had higher average ACEs scores. Methamphetamine use was significantly associated with living with anyone who served time in a correctional facility and with someone trying to make them touch sexually. Opiate use was significantly associated with living with anyone who was depressed, mentally ill or suicidal; living with anyone who used illegal street drugs or misused prescription medications; and if an adult touched them sexually. Binge drinking was significantly associated with having lived with someone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic.

Social implications

The findings point to a need for research to understand differences between methamphetamine use and opiate use in relation to particular adverse experiences during childhood and a need for tailored intervention for people incarcerated in jail.

Originality/value

Significant associations between methamphetamine use and opiate use and specific ACEs suggest important entry points for improving jail and community programming.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2021

Chloe Crompton, Bethany Duncan and Graham Simpson-Adkins

This paper aims to systematically review the available evidence that explores adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in people with intellectual disabilities (PwID). It is…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to systematically review the available evidence that explores adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in people with intellectual disabilities (PwID). It is important to systematically review this literature as, to date, there is little known about the number of studies in this area, despite the World Health Organization declaring ACE prevention and support as a global public health priority.

Design/methodology/approach

Published studies were identified from electronic database searches. Key journals and reference lists were also hand searched.

Findings

Two studies met the inclusion criteria and the prevalence and frequency of ACEs experienced by participants of these studies analysed. Overall, due to the small number of studies meeting the inclusion criteria, it is difficult to establish any meaningful conclusions.

Originality/value

This appears to be the first systematic review to try and identify a research base looking at the prevalence of ACEs within a PwID population. Findings suggest that this is a highly neglected area of research, and the authors hope to have identified that further evidence is required to draw clearer conclusions about the impact of ACEs on PwID.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 December 2019

Deborah J. Morris, Shubhinder Shergill and Elizabeth Beber

People with an intellectual disability (ID) are more at risk of experiencing adverse childhood events. Moreover, prolonged exposure to ACEs results in enduring changes and…

Abstract

Purpose

People with an intellectual disability (ID) are more at risk of experiencing adverse childhood events. Moreover, prolonged exposure to ACEs results in enduring changes and impairments in neurological, physiological and psycho-social systems and functioning. In response, van der Kolk et al. (2009) have put forward the concept of developmental trauma disorder (DTD) to reflect the “constellation of enduring symptoms” and complex care needs of this population. The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the level of exposure to adverse childhood events and the prevalence of DTD in an inpatient forensic ID population.

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective file review and consensus approach to diagnosis were used in a sample of adults with an ID detained in a secure forensic service.

Findings

Results revealed that 89 admissions (N=123) had been exposed to at least one significant ACE, with 81 being exposed to prolonged ACEs. A total of 58 admissions (47 per cent) met criteria for PTSD and 80 (65 per cent) met the criteria for DTD. Significant gender differences were noted in MHA status, primary psychiatric diagnoses, exposure to ACEs and DTD.

Research limitations/implications

The discussion explores the implications for working with forensic ID populations who report high incidents of childhood trauma and the utility, strengths and weaknesses of the proposed DTD, its relationship to ID diagnoses is explored.

Originality/value

The study outlines the prevalence of DTD and PTSD in ID forensic populations and suggests additional key assessment and treatment needs for this population.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 September 2021

John M. Violanti, Anna Mnatsakanova, Ja K. Gu, Samantha Service and Michael E. Andrew

The purpose of this study is to examine cross-sectional associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and mental health among police officers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine cross-sectional associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and mental health among police officers.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample was from the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress study data (132 male and 51 female officers). Standardized surveys were administered to participants. Regression coefficients were obtained from models adjusted for age, sex, race and alcohol intake. All statistical tests were performed using a statistical significance level at p < 0.05.

Findings

Regression analyses showed significant positive associations between ACEs and mental health (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]: β = 1.70, p < 0.001 and depressive symptoms: β = 1.29, p < 0.001). Resiliency significantly modified the association between ACEs and PTSD. A positive and significant association was observed among officers with lower resiliency (β = 2.65, p < 0.001). The association between ACEs and PTSD was stronger among male officers compared to females (β = 2.66, p < 0.001 vs. β = 0.59,  0.248, respectively).

Research limitations/implications

Child abuse and development of PTSD or depression could not be traced through time as this was a cross-sectional study. Recall bias may affect results.

Practical implications

PTSD and depression associated with ACEs can affect the interpretation of threat and can exacerbate emotional regulation in officers. An inquiry should be expanded regarding work assignments of victimized officers, such as child exploitation and pornography investigation.

Originality/value

There are few studies on ACEs and the mental health of police officers. The present study is among the first to associate multiple police mental health issues with ACEs.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2020

Nicole Henley and Annika Y. Anderson

Objectives – Given the multitude of barriers faced by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, we contribute to prior literature through our exploration of the…

Abstract

Objectives – Given the multitude of barriers faced by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, we contribute to prior literature through our exploration of the relationship between Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scores among a sample of incarcerated individuals (women) in San Bernardino County.

Methods – We performed a secondary data analysis on the original, self-reported data collected in 2011 from 336 female participants serving sentences in the San Bernardino County Jail System. Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to examine the association between ACE scores and select covariates.

Result – Higher ACE scores were associated with participants characterized as younger, low income, and unemployed and were significant among incarcerated women whose biological father has been in trouble with the law and those with an incarcerated household member. Additionally, participants with higher ACE scores were raised in more unstable neighborhoods.

Conclusions – The study demonstrates strong evidence that ACE scores are interrelated with individual-level characteristics, family stability, and SDOH, and impact the health outcomes and life experiences of vulnerable populations.

Details

Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Other Social Characteristics as Factors in Health and Health Care Disparities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-798-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 December 2021

Elanor Lucy Webb, Deborah Morris, Abbey Hamer and Jessica Davies

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are highly prevalent in people with developmental disorders who engage in offending behaviour. Many violence-based risk assessment…

Abstract

Purpose

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are highly prevalent in people with developmental disorders who engage in offending behaviour. Many violence-based risk assessment tools include items pertaining to ACEs, and may inflate risk scores in trauma-exposed groups. This paper aims to explore the relationships between ACEs, risk assessment scores, incidents of risk and restrictive practices, in adolescents with developmental disorders in a forensic inpatient setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary analysis was conducted on clinical data for 34 adolescents detained to a developmental disorder service. Data were extracted for Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) risk scores and risk behaviours and restrictive practices, as measures of observed risk.

Findings

Participants exposed to more ACEs had higher SAVRY risk scores (p < 0.001, two-tailed), with elevations specifically on the historical subscale (p < 0.001, two-tailed). Neither ACEs nor risk scores were associated with the frequency of risk behaviours. Nevertheless, participants exposed to four or more ACEs were secluded more frequently (p = 0.015, two-tailed), indicating a potential association between trauma and risk severity. Those with more complex developmental disorders experienced fewer ACEs (p = 0.02, two-tailed) and engaged in self-harm behaviours less frequently (p = 0.04, two-tailed).

Research limitations/implications

The inclusion of ACEs in risk assessment tools may lead to the inadvertent stigmatization of trauma-exposed individuals. Further investigation is necessary to offer clarity on the impact of early adversity on risk assessment accuracy and levels of institutional risk, and the role of developmental disorders in this relationship.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to explore the relative associations between ACEs, risk assessment scores and observed institutional risk and does so in a highly marginalized population.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Alan Drury, Tim Heinrichs, Michael Elbert, Katherine Tahja, Matt DeLisi and Daniel Caropreso

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a broad conceptual framework in the social sciences that have only recently been studied within criminology. The purpose of this…

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Abstract

Purpose

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a broad conceptual framework in the social sciences that have only recently been studied within criminology. The purpose of this paper is to utilize this framework by applying it to one of the most potentially dangerous forensic populations.

Design/methodology/approach

Archival data from 225 federal sex offenders was used to perform descriptive, correlational, and negative binomial regression models.

Findings

There was substantial evidence of ACEs including father abandonment/neglect (36 percent), physical abuse (nearly 28 percent), verbal/emotional abuse (more than 24 percent), and sexual abuse (approximately 27 percent). The mean age of sexual victimization was 7.6 years with the youngest age of victimization occurring at the age of 3. Offenders averaged nearly five paraphilias, the most common were pedophilia (57 percent), pornography addiction (43 percent), paraphilia not otherwise specified (35 percent), exhibitionism (26 percent), and voyeurism (21 percent). The offenders averaged 4.7 paraphilias and the range was substantial (0 to 19). Negative binomial regression models indicated that sexual sadism was positively and pornography addiction was negatively associated with serious criminal violence. Offenders with early age of arrest onset and more total arrest charges were more likely to perpetrate kidnaping, rape, and murder.

Originality/value

ACEs are common in the life history of federal sex offenders, but have differential associations with the most serious forms of crime.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Simone Collier and India Bryce

Adverse childhood experiences that are consistently experienced over a sustained period of time throughout childhood result in an accumulation of childhood adversity…

Abstract

Purpose

Adverse childhood experiences that are consistently experienced over a sustained period of time throughout childhood result in an accumulation of childhood adversity, which is often referred to in the literature as cumulative harm. This paper aims to closely examine statutory child protection practice, which favours an episodic and incident-focused approach to assessing risk and harm, failing to account for the evaluation of the accumulation of adversity and harm, commonly experienced by children exposed to maltreatment. The paper defines an existing gap in practice frameworks to adequately identify and respond to the accumulation of adversity.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on practice experiences in Queensland Australia, the paper examines service delivery responses to cumulative harm in the context of the Intensive Family Support model of service delivery.

Findings

Within current frameworks for child protection service delivery, there is no method of assessing the diverse and cumulative effects of ongoing chronic child maltreatment and adversity, despite research confirming that cumulative harm very often co-occurs with other child protection concerns. To effectively and collaboratively intervene in matters of chronic and cumulative abuse and neglect, practitioners and stakeholders must be guided by frameworks and assessments that accurately recognise and acknowledge the impact of ongoing exposure to adverse experiences and maltreatment.

Research limitations/implications

The need for a valid and reliable assessment method that draws together all elements contributing to the chronic maltreatment experience for a child and family: multiplicity, diversity and severity.

Social implications

Practice solutions tailored to each child’s specific cumulative experiences of adversity and maltreatment will promote better social, emotional and health outcomes across the lifespan.

Originality/value

This paper highlights a significant gap in assessment and practice frameworks and advances the impetus for cumulative harm to be proactively integrated into social care and service delivery.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

Nancy Wolff and Francisco Caravaca Sánchez

This study aims to examine the behavioral health disorders and trauma exposure are disproportionately represented among incarcerated men. Historically, prisons have been…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the behavioral health disorders and trauma exposure are disproportionately represented among incarcerated men. Historically, prisons have been inadequately equipped to respond to the behavioral health needs of incarcerated people. Given the abundance of behavioral health need and the relatively limited availability of prison-based treatment resources, population health management strategies, particularly need stratification, are vital.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 943 male inmates from three Spanish prisons completed a structured questionnaire. Need groups are based on current depression, anxiety and stress symptoms assessed by the DASS-21 and were validated using adverse childhood experiences (ACE), prison-based abuse, prison-based substance use, social support and resilience.

Findings

Three need groups were identified, namely, minimal, mild/moderate and severe, each representing about one-third of the sample. The severe group had the highest level of all three types of psychological distress, ACE and prison-based adversity and substance use. No statistical differences in social support and resilience were found among the groups. These findings provide a platform for future research to explore how the complexity of behavioral health care need can be identified and stratified for strategic and rational treatment matching. Proving whether a population health management approach improves behavioral health and personal safety outcomes within funding-constrained carceral environments is the next research priority.

Originality/value

This study is the first to group co-morbid psychological distress into need categories using a social determinants of health framework for validation.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

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